NIGERIA is thought to be losing over ($6m) N2bn a day as a result of the Twitter shutdown brought about by the federal government banning the social media platform from operating in the country.
Last week, the federal government banned Twitter from operating in Nigeria after the platform deleted one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweets. Civil society groups have widely condemned the ban, calling it an encroachment on freedom of speech and Nigerian celebrities have said it will hit the youth hard.
NetBlocks, the watchdog organisation that monitors cybersecurity and the governance of the Internet, put the total cost impact of the shutdown at $6,014,390 and it naira equivalent at N2,177,089,051. Its cost of shutdown tool estimates the economic impact of an Internet disruption, mobile data blackout or app restriction using indicators from the World Bank, the International Telecommunications Union, Eurostat and US.
Nigeria’s unemployment rate increased to the second highest on a global list of countries monitored by Bloomberg recently. Nigeria’s jobless rate rose to 33.3% in the three months of this year, according to a report published by the National Bureau of Statistics on March 15 and went up from 27.1% in the second quarter of 2020.
Experts have noted that a good number of Nigeria’s youth population earn their livelihood through Twitter and that such incomes will be affected by ban. Apparently, Nigeria has lost over N4bn since it banned Twitter last Friday.
Last Tuesday, President Buhari stated in a tweet that his government will get harder on those hell-bent on destroying the country. He said those wanting to destroy his government will receive the shock of their lives as his administration will do everything possible to ensure they fail.
His tweet had read: ”I receive daily security reports on the attacks on critical national infrastructure, and it is very clear that those behind them want this administration to fail. Whoever wants the destruction of the system will soon have the shock of their lives. We’ve given them enough time.
“I received a briefing today from the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, on the series of attacks on their facilities nationwide. These attacks are totally unacceptable and we will not allow those behind them to achieve their evil objectives.
As a result, his Twitter account was reported by Nigerians who understood the last part of the thread to mean a threat to kill the people from the southeast geo-political zone and re-enact the Nigerian Civil War. This lead Twitter to delete his comment and sparked the row.