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Nigeria loses N635.8bn from Twitter ban, ranks second worst from internet shutdown globally

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FACT CHECK: Do Nigerians now have partial access to Twitter?

Nigeria lost a whopping N635.8 billion during the 222-day shutdown of the microblogging platform, Twitter, in the country.

The Federal Government banned Twitter in Nigeria on June 4, 2021, over the alleged use of the platform to undermine Nigeria’s corporate existence.

The losses recorded by Nigeria during the seven months shutdown of Twitter operations was one of the worst in the world in recent years.

Among the worst-hit were banks, businesses, and startups using social media for customer service and dispute resolution.

Others were entrepreneurs, vendors, content creators, and marketers.

The ban was finally lifted on Wednesday.

The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, said President Muhammadu Buhari approved the lifting of the platform’s suspension following a memo written to the President by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

He said: “The Federal Government of Nigeria directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12:00 am tonight, 13th January 2022.

“The approval was given following a memo written to the President by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami.

“In the Memo, the Minister updated and requested the President’s approval for the lifting based on the Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement’s recommendation.”

Nigeria now second-worst hit economy from internet shutdown

READ ALSO: Nigeria lifts Twitter suspension after 222 days

The longevity of the Twitter ban means Nigeria was second only to Myanmar when it comes to losses suffered by countries from an internet shutdown.

Estimates using Netblock data noted that Myanmar which is currently under a military rule lost $2.8 billion in 2021 followed by Nigeria’s $1.5 billion.

India was third with $582.8 million, Ethiopia ($164.5m), and Sudan ($157.4m).

Uganda, which disrupted internet access in January for a controversial presidential election, was sixth with $109.7 million followed by Bangladesh in seventh position with $49.7 million.

Burkina Faso ($35.9m), Cuba ($33.1m), and Syria ($28.7m) completed the list of the top 10 countries with the worst losses from internet shutdown.

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