By Chinenye Anuforo
Experts have raised alarm over the impending job and revenue losses following the ban clamped on Twitter activities in the country by the Federal Government, warning that it may throw the economy into tailspin.
According to them, the ripple effects of the ban will impact economic activities some of which are sources of income to millions of young Nigerians. Many young Nigerians use Twitter to market their products, advertise their skills and source information. Also, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government have lately deepened the use of Twitter to disseminate information, having found it effective and cost-saving.
An ICT guru, Mr. Jide Awe, the CEO of Jidaw Systems Limited, pointed out that the ban would economically affect Nigeria.
He lamented that there would be loss of income and productivity by businesses in various sectors that use Twitter to conduct businesses.
Awe also stated there would be loss of economic opportunities from Twitter interactions and engagements.
The Jidaw boss explained that there would be loss of direct and indirect jobs due to loss of income and opportunities, adding that communication costs would be rise.
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity condemned the ban, saying the government did not weigh the implications of the action before taking it.
He stated that many Nigerians would be out of job because of this, adding to the number of the unemployed. This, of course, is not good for the country.
“The suspension will reduce traffic on online news platforms that leverage Twitter to extend their reach and bring news closer to the people. For telecos, the suspension will also mean a dip in data revenue as Twitter remains one of the most popular social media platforms in Nigeria. Telecos also resolve several of their customer complaints through their social media handles and also intimate them on latest promotions.They will have to deploy another means to achieve this going forward.
The Federal Government last week announced indefinite suspension of the micro-blogging platform’s operations in the country.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed the suspension in a statement signed by a Special Assistant to the President (Media) in the Office of the Minister, Segun Adeyemi.
The suspension of the operations of Twitter in Nigeria came few days after the micro-blogging and social networking service deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet on the civil war.
Mohammed stated that the persistent use of Twitter for activities were capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence and itwas responsible for the suspension.
With the indefinite ban, Nigeria joined the list of countries such as China, Iran, North Korea that have restricted the use of the platform.
However, many experts who expressed their opinion on the matter said there was no justification for the ban, especially since it has become a source of livelihood for thousands of Nigerians and a reliable news dissemination platform.
All these will further slowdown economic activities when Nigerians are battling with high unemployment rate, and rising inflation.”