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Twitter ban: Nigerian businesses lose N4.3bn in 2 days

Firms and businesses using the microblogging site, Twitter, to promote their businesses may have lost a staggering N4.3 billion in the last two days, New Telegraph has learnt.

 

This came as the Twitter ban by the government enters day three today.

 

Although the government had said the ban is ‘temporary’ a global internet mapping platform, Netblocks. org, said the country loses N90.7 million every hour the ban subsists.

 

Based on Netblocks’ calculation, the economy has lost over N4.3 billion in the last two days. The platform automatically aggregates the cost of shutdown tools and estimates the economic impacts of an internet disruption, mobile data blackouts or app restrictions using indicators from the World Bank, ITU, Eurostat and US census as the case may be.

 

The platform said it relied on booking institution methods which relied on development indicators, approximated digital economy extent of 0.05 and classic free app GDP impact technique to arrive at its conclusion.

 

A lot of Nigerian businesses depend on Twitter to advertise their products  and services, while an industry of ‘influencers’ has been created via the microblogging platforms, providing digital jobs for many young Nigerians. However, with the ban, ICT industry analysts said thousands of jobs would be lost.

 

Ironically, this is coming at a time the government said it is building a digital economy that would create about three million jobs in the next three years.

 

According to a Cybersecurity and Communications Consultant at the World Bank Group, Andrew Madaki, the ban, aside from leading to loss of jobs for many young Nigerians, is sending the wrong  message to international investors about the country.

 

“The tech sector has grown so much in Nigeria in recent times and has seen a lot of transformations. Unfortunately, the ban passes on a message to the investors that your policies can change at any time.

 

And so if you set up an organisation in Nigeria, one policy in one day can shut down your business. So, this affects the investor confidence in the economy,” he said.

 

While appealing for the lifting of the ban, the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, had also advised the Federal Government to be conscious of how its policies and action will affect investor confidence.

 

According to the governor: “As leaders, we should go beyond emotional reactions to issues and think about how our actions will affect the people we lead and our international ratings socially and economically.”

 

Speaking in the same vein, members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) reminded the Federal Government that Nigeria could not afford to be isolated from the rest of the world.

 

The private sector group lampooned the Federal Government for the harsh move, saying it was a serious infringement on ease of doing business in Nigeria, which may have multiple economic effects on the country’s GDP if not lifted urgently.

 

The OPS is the umbrella body of the country’s chambers of commerce comprising of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Group (MANEG), Nigerian Association of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) in Nigeria.

 

Speaking with New Telegraph in Lagos yesterday, a member of LCCI and past chairman of the LCCI SMEG (Small and Medium scales Enterprise Group), Dr. Abiodun Oladapo, explained that the government’s action would certainly affect e-commerce business contribution to the national GDP with the economy expected to suffer huge setbacks amid the key role Twitter platform plays in digital business world.

 

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