Economic Implication of Twitter Ban in Nigeria

During public health and safety crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, digital platforms like Twitter allow for information dissemination, marketing, customer service, and remote work. Businesses might be stifled, productivity could be reduced, and jobs could be lost as a result of a trade dispute (Iyatse and Adepetun, 2021).
According to the Nigerians in Diaspora Movement, many Nigerians rely on Twitter to earn a living (NDM). According to NDM, the acquisition of and exchange of value-added ideas on social media platforms like Twitter can help individuals, particularly young people, escape poverty. Accordingly, the National Democratic Movement (NDM) calls on Nigeria’s government to immediately reexamine its Twitter prohibition (Paulinus and Obi, 2021).
According to Valentine Ozigbo, the former President and Group CEO of Transcorp PLC, the social media platform has the potential to boost the economy and provide jobs for millions of Nigerians. “As the CEO of a technology and communications company and an investor in social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, I am aware of their importance in promoting business and the economy. The impact on our economy, democratic image, and the future careers of millennials who use Twitter will be significant (Adepetun, Aikulola, Nwokoro, Ugoeze and Akpa, 2021).

Each hour of social media filtering costs Nigeria around $250,000 (N102.5 million), reaching N2.5 billion per day, according to NetBlocks, a watchdog organisation that investigates cyber-security and Internet governance. The economy has suffered a 7.5 billion dollar loss in the last three days (4th June, 2021). The platform is used by millions of small and medium-sized businesses to communicate with their clients, and its suspension has already caused a void in the market’s availability of certain goods and services. This has the potential to exacerbate the issues brought on by COVID-19 and other structural flaws in companies. The country’s $12 billion e-commerce industry is also hurt (Iyatse and Adepetun, 2021).

It’s possible, says Chris Uwaje, chairman of Nigeria’s Mobile Software Solution, that the ban could lead to a significant upheaval in the country’s economy, resulting in increased unemployment and higher long-term recovery costs. According to him, taking down Twitter might have a variety of negative consequences for Nigeria’s digital economy, including a slowdown in growth and the possibility of a large-scale cyberattack (The Guardian, Monday. June 7, 2021, P. 9).

ICT specialists slammed the government’s Twitter ban as a decision made without consideration for the ever-changing technological landscape. According to critics, the decision could impair the economic benefits of technology by causing the country’s GDP to keep rising (Osuagwu, Ndujihe, Njoku, 2021).

One of Africa’s leading digital inclusion and human rights organizations has predicted that investors will flee Nigeria as a result of the ban, and large internet companies that want to invest in Africa will most likely look to Ghana instead of Nigeria (Iyorah, 2021).

According to Sesan, small businesses in Nigeria that rely on Twitter for consumer communication, brand exposure, and engagement with other stakeholders would be adversely affected in the interim. That decision is sure to be affected by this impulsive decision (Iyorah, 2021).

“Some simply by being attack dogs or mouthpieces for politicians and the government,” says Steve Babaeko, President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), suggesting that the prohibition will result in a loss of money for those young people. When it comes to youth unemployment, it varies from state to state; if Twitter is banned, the problem will only get worse for the young (Babaeko, 2021).

According to estimates, 39 million Nigerians are active users of the microblogging service Twitter. Because of the restriction, many people who depend on the site for business and networking have seen their earning potential plummet.

People’s ability to function normally will be severely limited. Thereby harming incoming foreign investment in Nigeria’s high-tech industry (Sikhakhane, 2021).

When asked about how the ban has damaged their business, Aja (2021) replied, “I’ve read several messages on my Twitter handle from folks with side gigs in design and other IT tech abilities.” Because of Twitter’s deactivation, large corporations like banks may be unable to provide Direct Messaging services to their customers.”

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