By John Ikani
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has revealed that Nigerian businesses lost a whopping N10.72 trillion ($26.1billion) between June 5, 2021 to January 13, 2022, during the seven-month shutdown of Twitter operations in Nigeria.
The group made this known in a statement commending the Federal Government for lifting the ban placed on Twitter operations in the country.
According to the statement signed by Director-General of LCCI, Dr. Chinyere Almona, “in business terms, the cost of the seven-month shutdown of Twitter operations in Nigeria is estimated to be N10.72 trillion ($26.1billion) between June 5, 2021 to 13th January 2022, according to Netblock’s Cost of Shutdown Tool.
It went on to note that “Digital platforms have become a viable tool for business operations and governance in engaging with diversified audiences and boosting digital transactions.”
The Director-General urged the government to create an enabling regulatory environment that supports global technology companies in achieving their potentials and are sustainably profitable, saying, “when this happens, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and revenue mobilisation will receive a boost through tax revenues from these companies.
“Currently, the ICT sector is one of the growth drivers in the economy and we see additional activities of the digital platforms as adding more potentials to this sector.”
She also commended the efforts of the federal ministers, agencies, and committees that have pulled the negotiations and gotten approval for the lifting of the suspension, requesting that all relevant institutions work towards enhancing digital infrastructure to adequately and sustainably support innovation in almost all sectors of the economy, especially, healthcare delivery, agric-technology, learning, e-governance, and fintech.
In case you missed it
Nigeria suspended Twitter in June 2021, days after the platform deleted a remark from Buhari’s account, provoking outcry over freedom of expression in Africa’s most populous country.
Nigerian officials defended the suspension, saying Twitter was used to promote fake news and for destabilising activities, especially by separatists in the southeast region of the country.
While the suspension lasted, Buhari’s Government and Twitter have been in talks over a list of conditions for ending the suspension, including discussions on taxes, content, and registering locally in Nigeria.
The suspension was eventually lifted on Thursday the 13th of January, with the the Federal Government noting that that Twitter had agreed to meet all the conditions proposed for lifting the suspension.