Nigeria has lost N24.72 billion in ten days as a result of the federal government’s Twitter ban.
The Federal government put the microblogging app’s operations in Nigeria on hold indefinitely on June 5 after the site removed a tweet from the President’s handle.
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Last week, the Federal government announced that the microblogging site had reached out for talks and that the government would now provide operational licences to such sites if they wanted to operate in Nigeria.
Nigeria loses N102.9 million ($250,600) each hour due to the ban, according to NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool, an international Internet watchdog.
The digital rights advocacy platform uses statistics from the World Bank, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and Eurostat to evaluate the economic impact of an internet outage, mobile data blackout, or app restriction.
Nigeria lost an estimated N2.1 billion naira when Twitter was brought down for 24 hours, according to its analysis.
Nigeria has over 33 million active social media users, with about 26% on Twitter, according to Statista.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture, Ayoola Olukanni, while commenting on the ban, said it has a more adverse effect on micro, small and medium businesses who rely on social media to conduct their business.
“Communication is a significant part of sales and marketing in this digital age. Consequently, the Twitter ban will likely impact negatively and disrupt businesses especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises who rely on social media, such as Facebook, Instagram including Twitter to conduct business.
It will therefore most likely negatively impact the IT sector of the economy which is already facing several other challenges.
While it may be considered that there are alternative social media platforms, the abrupt nature of the suspension would mean a loss of existing contacts and a cost of migration.
We must of course also not and cannot, discountenance the national security dimension of the misuse of social media and micro-blogging platforms to inspire violence outside its use to conduct Business.”Olukanni said
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