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Nigeria: It is 100 days post #TwitterBan; $360,000,000 estimated losses

Nigeria: It is 100 days post #TwitterBan; $360,000,000 estimated losses

The #TwitterBan in Nigeria is no news anymore, as the country hits 100 days post-Twitter ban.

On Monday, September 13, Nigerians would have witnessed 100 days of #TwitterBan by the Federal Government.

The measure taken by the government declaring the platform suspended has been heavily criticized as undermines Nigeria’s corporate existence; a move widely condemned both locally and internationally as a gross violation of human rights and the right to expression.

Since June 4th, 2021, Nigeria has not been the same as the effect of the #Twitterban touches all aspects of social and economic growth.

“Nigeria has lost at least $360 million in the past 100 days since the Twitter ban”, CSOs estimate.

Is resolution in sight?

About three weeks ago, the Nigerian government came out to say that it is getting to the point of lifting the Twitter ban.

Lai Mohammed, the Information and Culture minister explained that Twitter has acceded to seven out of ten demands put forward by the government before the social media giant could continue its operation in Nigeria.

Mohammed made this known in Washington DC during his engagement with various global media outlets, global think tanks, and influencers.

Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture

During his respective interaction with Reuters, Washington Post and Bloomberg Quicktake, a live streaming news service, the minister said there is an end in sight of amicable settlement of the ban.

He said: “We believe that even the other three outstanding demands, are not really about whether they agreed or not but about timing and scheduling. That is what gave me the confidence that we are getting nearer to an agreement.’’ 

The minister said, among the demands made from twitter was for the platform to register as a Nigerian company, pay taxes from revenue made from the country and ensure that harmful contents are regulated.

According to him, “As recently as last week, we exchange correspondent with twitter, and when I left home a few days ago, we are expecting a reply from them.

“It is rather, more left with twitter to respond to grey areas that we asked them to look into. We are not inflexible in our negotiation with twitter because we recognise both the positive and negative aspects of the social media.’’ 

The minister said the claim that twitter operation was suspended because it deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet was a mischievous interpretation not grounded in facts.

Are the CSO satisfied so far?

TechEconomy.ng had reported a lawsuit filed by Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), Paradigm Initiative (PIN) & Media Rights Agenda (MRA) against MTN, Airtel, Globacom and 9Mobile for the court to declare the blockage of Twitter access as unlawful, unconstitutional and against the rights to freedom of expression.

They also sought an injunction restraining the telecommunication companies from blocking or interfering with Twitter and any other social media platform.

There are 5 other lawsuits in Nigeria and ECOWAS courts.

To this regard, the group of social enterprises: Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), Paradigm Initiative (PIN), Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP) advocating for digital rights and freedom of speech, and a host of others, are coming together on Monday, September 13th, 2021, to commemorate the 100 days #TwitterBan in Nigeria.

Representatives from these organizations will share actions taken against the federal government, the state of affairs, and the way forward amidst the Twitter ban.

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