The Nigerian government suspended Twitter on June 4 after ousting President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigeria will soon lift its ban on Twitter after resolving some of its disagreements with the social media platform, Information Minister Lai Mohammed said on Wednesday, marking the end of a policy widely criticized as a violation of free speech.
The Nigerian government suspended Twitter on June 4 after ousting President Muhammadu Buhari and threatening to punish regional rebels. Some telecommunications companies later blocked access to Nigerian users.
"The ban on Twitter will be lifted soon as we are about to reach a full agreement," Mohammad told reporters after a Cabinet meeting. "We have agreed on certain areas. We hope that in a few days or weeks we will finish."
Mohammad said one of the challenges was Nigeria's desire for Twitter to establish an office in the country. He said Twitter had agreed to this but said it would not be able to do so until 2022.
A Twitter spokesperson said: "We recently met with the Nigerian government to discuss why Twitter has been banned and ways to resolve this issue. Our aim is to plan a way forward for the return of Twitter to everyone in Nigeria.
The Twitter ban has imposed sanctions on social media itself, in Nigerian civil society organizations including some who have sued the government for it, for many Nigerian users and for the US government.
The Nigerian attorney general initially said those who violated Twitter law should be prosecuted, but that was not enforced.
A West African court ruled on June 22 that Nigerian authorities could not prosecute people using the service while considering a case seeking to have the ban lifted.
In practice, many Nigerian users have continued to post on Twitter, but government services and other public bodies have stopped using it.
The ban was imposed after Twitter on June 2 removed Buhari's claim that it violated its "harassment" policy.
In this post, Buhari refers to the 1967-70 civil war, in which he served in the Nigerian army as it was fighting for the southeast. Speaking of today's rebels in the same region, he said he would "treat them in a language they understand".
Relations between the Nigerian government and Twitter have been strained even before the president's tweet was deleted.
In April, Mohammed became furious when Twitter named Ghana, the smallest country in West Africa, as its first office on the continent. The minister said the company had been influenced by the Nigerian media.
Other disagreements arose during a series of protests last year against police brutality. Demonstrators used social media to organize, raise money and share evidence of police harassment.
Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey wrote on Twitter urging his followers to donate, angered Nigerian authorities.