Home Business Nigeria awaits FG decision on Twitter ban, which hits six months

Nigeria awaits FG decision on Twitter ban, which hits six months

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Nigeria awaits FG decision on Twitter ban, which hits six months

In exactly two days, on December 5, the Federal Government would have stopped Twitter operations in Nigeria for the sixth time.

Despite the fact that the Federal Government announced last week that Twitter had complied with all of the restrictions placed on it before it could resume operations in Nigeria, Nigerians are concerned that the ban has not been removed.

On June 4, the Federal Government announced the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria, following the social media giant’s deletion of a message by President Muhammadu Buhari for “violation of the company’s abusive behavior policy.”

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Telecommunications firms imposed the suspension on June 5, and Nigerians awoke to a Twitter blackout across all platforms.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in his Independence Day anniversary speech on October 1, sounded as if all outstanding difficulties had been settled, ordering the suspension to be lifted provided the organization met the government’s demands. In fact, several headlines led readers to believe that the prohibition had been lifted immediately. However, Twitter remains banned 64 days after Buhari’s October 1 announcement, with prices spiraling.

Businesses impacted by the embargo, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as government at all levels, have felt the effects of the ban. They are still bearing the brunt of the suspension, even as the economy suffers. It had also wreaked havoc on Nigerians, particularly those involved in the internet community.

According to NetBlocks, a watchdog group that monitors cyber-security and Internet governance, each hour of the suspension costs Nigeria $250,000 (N102.5 million), totaling N2.46 billion per day. Inevitably, this means that the economy has lost around N447 billion in the last six months as a result of the prohibition.

Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, declared on November 28 that Twitter had agreed to all of the terms for the suspension to be lifted.

Twitter has “agreed to all the requirements,” according to Keyamo, who is a member of the committee set up to engage Twitter over its suspension.

“The president’s action was taken to re-calibrate our relationship with Twitter, not to push them out of our nation.” “We’ve started that recalibration, and the president gladly appointed me to the committee,” he said.

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Most Nigerians, particularly those who run their companies on the microblogging platform, have subsequently shifted to platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram, according to the Guardian.

Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), said on Twitter that “we’re not privy to the arrangement between parties, but it goes to suggest that such an agreement may not be a plug and play.”

ALTON, according to Adebayo, wishes that the parties reach an agreement as quickly as possible so that users’ economic losses, as well as the ban’s reputation and social consequences, be minimized.

“The longer we wait, the more we lose,” he explained, “because Nigerian users are experiencing the impact more than Twitter as a service is feeling the loss of traffic and money.”

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“I believe the issue may be related to the fact that deadlines for when Twitter will have a physical presence in the country and how taxes may be rendered are still to be established,” stated Olusola Teniola, Nigerian Coordinator, Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI). This may now be a chance for the FG to reach out to Twitter and offer assistance so that they may feel at ease in the enabling business environment that the government is working on.”

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