- The suspension of Twitter in the Nigerian internet space continues to generate reactions in the country and beyond
- Many Nigerians continue to kick against the ban while giving reasons why the move is counter-productive
- Experts say the loss suffered by the citizens due to the ban has a negative effect on the already fragile economy of the country
FCT, Abuja - Nigeria has lost N220.36billion to the Twitter ban according to a calculation based on the NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool.
According to the tool, it costs Nigeria’s economy N103.17million (about $250,600) every hour to ban Twitter.
It has been 2,136 hours since Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the minister of information, announced the ban of the micro-blogging site in Nigeria on behalf of the federal government.
Financial planner, Kalu Aja, told The Punch newspaper:
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“Social media enables the brand to talk directly to consumers. It’s direct marketing, specific and targeted.”
Small businesses groan in pain
“It requires a lot of money to set up a business and a physical store in Lagos, especially. So, I've been doing my business online on social media,” she explained.
“Since the ban, patronage has been low, like, significantly low, because a lot of other people are not using Twitter VPN.”
On its part, The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organisation based in Washington, says the move by the Buhari-led government has led to damage of Nigeria’s image on the world stage.
Nigeria’s Twitter ban is a misplaced priority
Writing on the institutions' website, Christina Golubski; Associate Director - Africa Growth Initiative, and Mary Blankenship, an intern noted that key diplomatic and economic allies like the EU and the U.S. have condemned the ban.
They noted that the ban is a misplaced priority, adding that the global spotlight from the ban highlights the Buhari's government’s evident ineffectiveness in addressing serious economic, social, security, and political challenges.
Recall that Nana Nwachukwu, a legal consultant, activist, and research expert, condemned the suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian government in an exclusive interview with Legit.ng.
She described the action of the Nigerian government as repressive, adding that the move by the Buhari-led administration has taken Nigeria down so many achievement notches.
She advised the federal government to listen to the complaints of the people, stressing that engaging through Gestapo tactics is outdated.
Similarly, civil society organisation, Yiaga Africa noted that at a time when nations around the world are building mutually constructive relationships with citizens through diverse channels of communication, the Nigerian government is imposing a ban on Twitter.
It described Twitter as a platform where citizens engage in public conversation, public policy scrutiny, and civic engagement.
Yiaga Africa further stated that the suspension of Twitter affirms the shrinking civic space in Nigeria.