Following the suspension of micro-blogging site, Twitter, in Nigeria by the Federal government, Experts said the suspension will dampen foreign investors’ interest in the country.
Recall, BuwaNews reported that the relationship between the Federal Government and Twitter went sour on Wednesday when the network deleted a post on the Nigerian Civil War by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The President, had on Tuesday in the post hinted that he would treat IPOB and other secessionist groups, “in the language they understand,” a tweet, which was deleted by Twitter on the grounds that it violated its rules.
On Wednesday, the Federal Government reacted angrily, saying Twitter’s mission in Nigeria was suspicious.
On Friday, the Federal Government suspended, indefinitely, the operations of Twitter in Nigeria. It said Twitter’s operations violated Nigeria’s cooperate existence.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who on Friday announced the suspension, cited what he described as “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
The ban, which sparked public outrage, has been condemned by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, among others.
In reaction to the ban, the NESG, a private sector-led think-tank, and economic experts, who spoke to Punch correspondents in separate interviews, said the ban on Twitter would dampen foreign investors’ appetite to invest in the country and take a toll on the government’s digital economy drive.
On his own part, the President, Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria, Mr Femi Egbesola, lamented the adverse effect the ban would have on small and medium-scale enterprises.
According to him, the social media, of which Twitter is a leading platform, provides a cheaper option of advertising.
Egbesola said, “SMEs would no longer be able to advertise their products and services on Twitter. This ban would disrupt the tens of thousands of small businesses that create more than 70 per cent of the nation’s employment.
“Twitter might have been at fault for censoring the President’s tweet, but the government should consider the positive side. The ban would affect employers and may lead to the loss of jobs which would worsen the unemployment woes of the country. We appeal to the government to reconsider the ban.”