Indian microblogging app, Koo, has disclosed plan to formally register in Nigeria.
The app became popular in June when the Federal Government suspended Twitter operations following a row between both entities.
Nigeria took the action after the social media giant deleted a post by President Muhammadu Buhari for “violation of the company’s abusive behaviour policy.”
After the suspension, the Federal Government asked Nigerians to download and use Koo, claiming some government activities were already running on it. The Twitter ban will be two months on August 5.
During a virtual interaction with journalists, yesterday, the Business Development Consultant to Koo, Sameer Yeshwanth, said they believe the social media platform would be the first to be registered in Nigeria formally.
Yeshwanth said, by registering, Koo would pay taxes as required and comply with all the laws of the land. He noted: “We have already hired four staff according to the Federal Character Laws of Nigeria.”
He said the commitment to register in Nigeria is very strong, “as we know that we are going to register with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC); Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and comply with all relevant local content laws of the country through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). Our lawyers are already working that out.”
The Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, Aprameya Radhakrishna, said the innovation that brought Koo was borne out of the need to ensure freedom of expression across board.
He said the product would be customised to meet needs, as people can easily get connected to their respective languages.
Radhakrishna disclosed that Nigeria is the first country outside India that Koo has moved to and, in the last two months, has seen about 200,000 downloads.
The CEO said the firm is doing everything possible to give Nigeria and Nigerians the best of service. According to him, “We hope to register by the next quarter. We are moving steadily on how to go about our international operations. What we are doing now is to get all that we need ready, then full operations begin.”
He explained that part of the service is to ensure that local Nigerian languages including Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, pidgin, Tiv, Fulfulde and others with large populations feature on the platform.
On the choice of Nigeria, Radhakrishna said India and the country have some semblance, especially in population, large number of youths, and technologies.
“Nigeria is a country with a rich cultural background and heritage. While it is an English-speaking country, we feel it is important for the people to be able to communicate in their local languages in the digital space, which will further enrich the local culture of Nigeria.”
Working with Nigerian people, Koo has been able to appreciate the historical and cultural nuances of the country. We would encourage a positive attitude on the platform, making us partners in progress,” he noted.
The CEO said Koo was launched in 2020 and allows users to share personal updates and opinions across numerous topics of interest in 400 characters. He said the microblogging app has since amassed a user base of over seven million people since its launch, with seven Indian languages as well as English currently available on the platform in India, which has enabled more non-English-speaking Indians to participate in the online dialogue.