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Nigeria loses N630.57bn in 7 months to twitter ban as microblogging platform users recount ordeals, commend FG for lifting ban

Nigeria lost a whopping N630.57 billion in seven months of ban on twitter operations in the country by the federal government, statistics pieced together by Netblocks.org have revealed.

Netblocks.org said it relied on booking-institution method, which uses development indicators, approximated digital economy extent of 0.05 and classic free app GDP impact technique to arrive at its conclusion, being an artificial intelligence (AI)-based study. Netblocks is popular and its statistics are reliable.

According to the NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool, Nigeria lost N104.02 million ($250,600) every hour to the ban, bringing the daily losses to N2.46 billion.

The Federal Government had announced the suspension of twitter operations on June 4, 2021, after the social media giant deleted a post by President Buhari (the infamous ‘we will deal with them  (Igbo-IPOB members) in the language they understand) for “violation of the company’s abusive behaviour policy.”

By June 5, 2021, the suspension was effected by telecommunications companies as Nigerians woke up to a twitter shutdown across all platforms.

But, the FG on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, finally lifted the ban on twitter operations in Nigeria.

While some Nigerians reacted positively to the lifting of the ban, others were of the view that it was unnecessary in the first place.

Recounting his losses, Damilola Abodunrin, Business Lead, iProspect, expressed his anger at the suspension, stating that because he used twitter for a lot of things aside from influencing, the suspension really affected his business.

However, he pointed out that the lifting of the ban would enhance small businesses, improve employment and make enable those that stopped their businesses on twitter since the ban to come back.

Jide Awe, Chief Executive Officer of Jidaw Systems Limited and an ICT guru pointed out that the ban  economically affected Nigeria, lamenting that there were losses of income and productivity by businesses in various sectors that used twitter to conduct business.

Awe also stated there were losses of economic opportunities from twitter interactions and engagements, pointing out, however, the FG’s U-turn on the ban was a welcome development all the same, even as he warned that such a thing should not repeat itself.

President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo agonised that Nigeria recorded “massive” economic losses as a result  of the twitter ban.

“We sympathise with businesses and organisations that recorded losses, but it is better late than never. Consolation is that the platform is back, businesses can run and FG can make money from the planned taxes on social media platforms,” Ogunbanjo said, advising that after the lifting and twitter’s agreement to the conditions, “FG should not gag the microblogging platform. They should understand and be ready to listen to opposing voices. Constructive criticisms should be welcomed.”

A source in the tech world, who did not want his name in print, condemned FG’s ban on twitter saying the government did not weigh the implications of its action before taking it, lamenting that many Nigerians were out of job because of of the “rash decision” of the government.

He, however, commended the government for calling off the ban but advised that government should do a lot of consultation before taking a decision that would affect the way of life of citizens.

Reacting to the news, a twitter user @Ogbenidipo wrote: “The twitter ban ruined lives and destroyed small businesses. It was needless and unproductive. The government did not achieve anything banning the platform in Nigeria. I honestly hope this never happened again.”

Lekan Otufodurin, a journalist, tweeted: “I almost asked some days ago if the government remembered it suspended the operations of twitter in Nigeria. For all they cared, it would remain suspended for as long as possible. Those who stayed away are welcome back. Some of us never left.”

@DrFunmilayo tweeted: “Government gained nothing. Achieved nothing. Ruined businesses. Nigeria has lost about one billion dollars because a President felt his ego crushed by twitter.”

@generaloluchi tweeted “My question to Lai Mohammed now that twitter has been lifted in Nigeria: Is its interest in Nigeria no longer suspect? That was what he said in the first week of the ban. What changed? Is the platform no longer a threat to Nigeria?”

Source: The Sun

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