By Chioma Iruke
N150.5 billion is estimated to have been lost by businesses since the Federal Government’s ban on Twitter took effect in the country on June 5.
The loss in revenue was arrived at, using NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool which measures the economic impact of an internet disruption in a country, based on indicators from the World Bank, International Telecommunication Union, Eurostat and US Census.
According to the tool, Nigeria’s economy loses N102.7 million per hour to the Twitter ban, which translates to an N150.5 billion revenue loss within 61 days, since the ban was announced.
Telecommunication companies in the country enforced the shutdown of Twitter on June 5, after receiving directives from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to block Nigerians from accessing the application.
US Consul-General, Claire Pierangelo, described the ban as “worrisome” at the “Conversation on Press Freedom, Freedom of Expression and Civic Space in Nigeria” which was held in Lagos.
“Nigerian government’s ongoing suspension of Twitter and stated intent to introduce registration requirements for other social media platforms is deeply worrisome.
“Banning or significantly restricting social media, including under threat of prosecution, undermines Nigerians’ human rights and fundamental freedoms,” she said.
Following the ban, human rights activists and groups had dragged the Federal Government to the ECOWAS court.
In a counter-affidavit, the Federal Government told a Federal High Court in Lagos that it had not stopped Nigerians from using Twitter, adding that many Nigerians still used it every day.