Since June 2021, when the Nigerian government shutdown operations of Twitter in the country, the Nigerian economy has sustained losses in the region of N500bn.
On June 4, the Nigerian Government shut down Twitter operations, after a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari was deleted by the social media giant. Telecommunication companies blocked access to Twitter after receiving a directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission to that effect.
Based on the parameters applied by the NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool, Nigeria’s economy loses N105.02m ($251,000) every hour to the ban on Twitter. It has been 4,800 hours (200 days) since the social networking site was blocked.
During his speech marking Nigeria’s Independence Day, President Buhari gave an indication that the Twitter ban was to be lifted shortly, and that Twitter would be required to register as a business as well as maintain a physical presence in the country.
Festus Keyamo, Nigeria’s minister-of-state for labour and employment, recently revealed that Twitter had agreed to the nation’s conditions for the suspension to be lifted.
Keyamo, who is also a member of the committee set up to engage Twitter over its suspension, said, “The reason why the President took that step is to recalibrate our relationship with Twitter and not to drive them away from our country.
“That recalibration, we have started it and the president graciously added me to the committee.”
Financial experts warn that the Twitter ban deeply hurts small and medium-scale enterprises and sole proprietors with zero marketing budgets, because it deprives them of a unique ‘Twitter’ opportunity to build and communicate a brand promise, even with little budget.”