Sunday, January 16, 2022

Nigerian businesses lost over N10 trillion to Twitter ban: LCCI

Buhari regime had banned Twitter operations in Nigeria on June 5, 2021, and eventually lifted the prolonged suspension on Wednesday.

• January 15, 2022
Buhari and Twitter
Buhari and Twitter logo used to illustrate the story

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) on Friday estimated that Nigerian businesses lost N10.72 trillion ($26.1billion) within 222 days the President Muhammdu Buhari shut down Twitter operations across Nigeria.

“In business terms, the cost of the seven-month shutdown of Twitter operations in Nigeria is estimated to be N10.72 trillion (26.1billion dollars) according to Netblock’s Cost of Shutdown Tool,” the director-general of LCCI, Chinyere Almona said in a statement on Friday.

Buhari regime had banned Twitter operations in Nigeria on June 5, 2021, and eventually lifted the prolonged suspension on Wednesday.

A press release by Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the chairman of Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement, the suspension followed a memo written to the president by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami. “In the Memo, the minister updates and requests the president’s approval for the lifting based on the Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement’s recommendation.”

However, Mrs Almona while stating  that Twitter was a viable tool for businesses in Nigeria, said the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria was “well-received and commendable.”

“Digital platforms have become a viable tool for business operations and governance in engaging with diversified audiences and boosting digital transactions,” she noted.

She further appealed to the Buhari regime to create an enabling environment that supports global technology companies.

“When this happens Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and revenue mobilisation will receive a boost through tax revenues from these companies,” she said.

“Currently, the Information and Communications Technology sector is one of the growth drivers in the economy even as we see additional activities of digital platforms adding more potential to the sector,” she added.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International had accused the Buhari regime of using the ban to stifle the collective voice of Nigerians, a violation of their rights to freedom of expression.

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