Nigeria Lost over N10tn to Twitter Ban, LCCI Claims

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Segun James

Nigerian businesses lost N10.72 trillion ($26.1billion) within 222 days President Muhammadu Buhari shut down Twitter operations across Nigeria, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has estimated.
This was contained in a statement by the Director-General of LCCI, Chinyere Almona Friday.

In business terms, according to Almona, the cost of the seven-month shutdown of Twitter operations in Nigeria is estimated to be N10.72 trillion ($26.1 billion) according to Netblock’s Cost of Shutdown Tool.
Buhari regime had banned Twitter operations in Nigeria on June 5, 2021. After months of sustained pressure, the Buhari administration eventually lifted the prolonged suspension Wednesday.

Chairman, Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement, Kashifu Abdullahi had, in a statement said the suspension followed a memo President Buhari wrote to 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.”

Almona, however, explained 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 appealed to the Buhari administration “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 administration of using the ban to stifle the collective voice of Nigerian, a violation of their rights to freedom of expression.