Expert, others commend FG for lifting ban on Twitter



Dr Osita Ibe, The Programme Analyst/Acting Head, Information Communication and Technology (ICT), Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan commended the Federal Government’s decision to lift the ban on Twitter.

Ibe told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan that lifting the ban would be of social and economic gain to Nigeria.

NAN reports that the FG on Wednesday lifted the ban on Twitter operation after seven months of its suspension in the country.

Ibe says according to NetBlocks, Nigeria suffered a loss of N104.02 million ($250,600) per hour, totaling N2.46 billion daily and a staggering N546.5 billion loss to the economy during the 222 days of the twitter ban.

Turkey–based NetBlocks is a cyber security watchdog that monitors the use of internet to promote good governance world-wide.

He said by lifting the ban, the Federal Government had taken steps to reverse the loss and widen the social media space.

“Thankfully, the government lifted the ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria from midnight of Jan. 13. This promises to boost the Nigerian economy and enhance Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he said.

He said that Twitter users ranged from budding innovators to public office holders who find it a veritable platform for interaction with the audience.

According to him, the third quarter of 2020 statistics of social media usage in Nigeria showed that Twitter has gained 61.4 per cent penetration in Nigeria.

He urged the government to use the huge population of Twitter users for dissemination of relevant information to the teeming masses in real time.

Ibe said the youths and even pressure groups could exploit the coverage to enhance their legitimate livelihood and advance their social.

“However, refrain should be exercised on the use of Twitter and other social media platform for criminal purposes and promotion of activities that promote public unrest.

“Considering the huge economic, political and social benefits derivable from Twitter and even other social media platforms, they should not be banned but operated and exploited within the ambits of the law,” he said.

A youth, Mr Christopher Okoli, said lifting the ban gave him joy was all joy because social media such as Twitter were the only tool to promote his creativity and skills.

Okoli also said that they were avenues to showcase one’s talents globally while twitter is one paramount, most influential platform to promote oneself.

“Twitter helps us to promote our skills and creativity, meet people that can aid our vision and lots more,” he said.

Also responding, Mr Victor Afolabi, said lifting the ban was a welcome development because it shows FG’s respect for the citizens’ right to communication.

“Lifting the ban is a welcome development though it’s long overdue because of its economic and social impacts on the society,” Afolabi said. (NAN)