According to NetBlocks, the Nigerian economy lost a whopping N499.32 billion since the Federal Government of Nigeria's ban over Twitter operations in Nigeria took effect some seven months ago.
Precisely on June 5, 2021, the Federal Government officially placed an indefinite ban on Twitter as a response to the company deleting tweets from the President.
According to reports, the tweets from the President that generated much debate were his statements warning South Eastern insurgent groups about avoiding a repeat of the ugly history of the Nigerian civil war of 1967.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in response, gave a directive to the telecommunications companies to delist Twitter operations in the country.
Probing closer at NetBlocks' Cost of Shutdown Tool (COST) report estimates showed that the Twitter ban continues to bleed the Nigerian economy of at least USD6 million daily.
Perhaps calculating the economic and financial cost will help the government appreciate the positive non-political impact its ban on Twitter has on the economy.
It has been 200 days since the infamous ban and there is no clear sight of a solution to this imbroglio, just a mere statement of resolve from those responsible for resolving this impasse.
During the early days of the ban, the United States and the European Union released a joint statement condemning the ban.
In a move to restrict access to Twitter and continue its anti-social media attitude, the attorney general of the federation first openly threatened to prosecute citizens who bypass the ban, but then denied saying so after a screenshot of a Twitter deactivation notification he shared on Facebook showed a VPN logo.
However, bowing to public pressure, President Muhammed Buhari in his Independence Day broadcast said Twitter must meet the Nigerian government’s five conditions before the suspension of the social media platform will be lifted.
The conditions include: Twitter must pay attention to national security and cohesion; registration, physical presence, and representation in Nigeria; fair taxation; dispute resolution, and local content.
Just recently, the Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said Twitter had agreed to the nation’s conditions for the suspension to be lifted.
Jude Isime, a freelance digital marketer, pleaded with the federal government to reconsider their position and allow Twitter back into the country. According to him,
"Twitter's ban has been bad for business. Since June, when the government stopped Twitter from operating in Nigeria, we have lost so much money.
"Before the ban, I used to make as much as NGN15,000 and NGN75,000 from some clients in a month by promoting their business on Twitter.
"Mine is small compared to what some people and organizations make from their activities on Twitter.
"I just hope Twitter can be allowed to return to the country because things are hard in the country and Twitter is one of the companies helping most Nigerian youths survive."
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