Nigeria loses N24.72bn over Twitter ban as Nigerians recount their losses

Twitter was recently banned in Nigeria. Locals update on the fall out this causes. 

Nigeria loses N24.72bn over Twitter ban as Nigerians recount their losses

Charles Nwoke, Abakaliki, Nigeria

June 16, 2021

Nigeria has risked the loss of N24.72bn ($60.14m) in 10 days following the ban on Twitter which occurred on 5th June.

NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool says Nigeria loses N102.9m ($250,600) every hour as a result of the ban on Twitter by the Nigerian Federal Government.

The Nigerian-led Federal Government had on June 4, 2021, announced the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.

Lai Mohammed, the Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, had cited ‘the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence as the reason for the undemocratic suspension.

According to a report by Statista, Nigeria has about 33 million active social media users, with about 26 percent of the population on Twitter.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture, Ayoola Olukanni, when he was asked about the effects of the ban on businesses in the country, stated, “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 that 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.”

Meanwhile, Twitter had since reached out to Nigerian Federal Government that it was ready to meet for a dialogue to address mutual concerns and see the service restored. The company revealed this in a tweet.

The company had said, “Today marks one week since Twitter was blocked in Nigeria. We have informed the Nigerian government that we are ready to meet for an open discussion to address mutual concerns and see the service restored.

“We remain advocates for the free and Open Internet everywhere.”

Mercy Omohoro, a Twitter user who also sells on the app, said, “Honestly, it has always been twitter. I started from Twitter. I only started spreading to Instagram a few months back and I’ve not been able to get used to the platform that well.

“I sell wigs and press-on nails. I was about to launch a new product when the ban happened. My head exploded.”

A social media marketer who equally sells phone accessories and mobile devices on Twitter, Chukwudi Nwafor, said, “This government has dealt with me mercilessly. I use to sell my goods to the tune of N1000,000 on weekly basis, but as it stands now, I hardly make not even my feeding money. It’s that bad.

“I have been using my Twitter App to make bumper sales and make my gains, but as it stands now, I hardly sell. I doubt if Nigeria is practicing democracy as they claim to be doing.”