The Nigerian economy lost N10.72trillion to the suspension of microblogging platform, Twitter, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.
The figures were disclosed in a statement issued on Friday by Chinyere Almona, Director-General, LCCI.
“In business terms, the cost of the seven-month shutdown of Twitter operations in Nigeria is estimated to be N10.72trillion ($26.1billion) according to Netblock’s Cost of Shutdown Tool,” Almona said.
This is a huge loss to Nigeria as it represents about 63% of Nigeria’s N17.1trillion budgeted for 2022.
Recall that on June 4, the Nigeria Government announced the suspension of Twitter after the social media platform deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Telecommunication companies had on June 5 blocked access to Twitter after receiving a directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission to that effect.
After seven months of suspension, the government lifted the suspension of Twitter’s operations in the country.
Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Abdullahi, announced the lifting of the suspension in a statement.
Reacting in a statement, the LCCI Director welcomed the suspension of the ban as she said digital platforms have become a viable tool for business operations and governance in engaging with a diversified audience and boosting digital transactions.
She said that currently, the Information and Communications Technology sector was one of the growth drivers in the economy.
“We, therefore, urge the government to create an enabling regulatory environment that supports global technology companies in achieving their potential and are sustainably profitable,” she said.
According to her, improving Nigeria’s digital infrastructure from a policy perspective would boost healthcare delivery, agric-technology, learning, e-governance, and fintech.
Almona advised Nigeria and other nations to ensure balanced negotiation in the use of digital platforms for mutual benefits between governments and operators.
She said that the negotiation became imperative due to the lessons learnt during Nigeria-Twitter issue.
She urged government to explore these lessons in creating a realistic template for regulating digital platforms in Nigeria for maximum benefits.