…Govt Action Was Illegal, Violated Citizens Rights…Amnesty International …Social Media Should Not Be Misused…Tinubu …We’re Deeply Committed to Nigeria…Twitter Nigeria may have lost about N600 billion from the suspension of the operations of microblogging site, Twitter which was lifted by midnight on Wednesday, January 12th. This is coming as the global human rights group, Amnesty
…Govt Action Was Illegal, Violated Citizens Rights…Amnesty International
…Social Media Should Not Be Misused…Tinubu
…We’re Deeply Committed to Nigeria…Twitter
Nigeria may have lost about N600 billion from the suspension of the operations of microblogging site, Twitter which was lifted by midnight on Wednesday, January 12th. This is coming as the global human rights group, Amnesty International maintained that the ban was not only illegal but violated the rights of the citizenry to freedom of expression.
The platform which was suspended on June 4, 2021 was under the government’s hammer for seven months, making a total of 222 days which translates to 5,328 hours. According to the NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool, Nigeria’s economy lost N104.02million ($250,600) every hour to the ban on Twitter, amounting to N554.22bn.
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Rima Shawulu Kwewum, who was piqued about these huge losses queried the import of the ban. “How do we compensate for these huge losses? What really have we gained?,” Kwewum who represents Donga/Ussa/Takum Federal Constituency in the lower chamber asked rhetorically in a tweet on Thursday.
A statement released on behalf of the Federal Government by Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said:
“Twitter has agreed to act with a respectful acknowledgement of Nigerian laws and the national culture and history on which such legislation has been built… Therefore, the (federal government) lifts the suspension of the Twitter operations in Nigeria from midnight of 13th January 2022,”
Among the other agreements reached between both parties is that Twitter will open a Nigerian office. The micro-blogging platform would also work alongside the Nigerian Government “to develop a Code of Conduct in line with global best practices, applicable in almost all developed countries”.
While giving his Independence Day speech, President Muhammadu Buhari hinted that the ban would continue until Twitter registered in Nigeria, had a physical presence, and representation.
The platform became accessible in Nigeria on Thursday after the government lifted a 7-month-old ban on the social media network.
“President Muhammadu Buhari… has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12 am tonight,” the NITDA boss said on Wednesday.
The Nigerian government had suspended its operations after the company deleted a comment by President Buhari, provoking an international outcry over freedom of expression.
But the presidency argued that the move had nothing to do with the social media platform’s action.
Reacting to the lifting of the ban, Twitter says, “We are pleased that Twitter has been restored for everyone in Nigeria. Our mission in Nigeria and around the world is to serve the public conversation,”Twitter’s Public Policy team said in a tweet on Thursday.
“We are deeply committed to Nigeria, where Twitter is used by people for commerce, cultural engagement, and civic participation,” it asserted.
Although it welcomes the lifting of the ban, the global rights group, Amnesty International, says the ban of the social media platform, Twitter in Nigeria was illegal in the first place.
“Amnesty International welcomes the lifting of the Twitter ban by Nigerian authorities, after 7–months of depriving Nigerians of exercising their right to freedom of expression on a social media platform that facilitates dialogue and empowers everyone to communicate, hold useful debates and conversations, and demand accountability from the Nigerian authorities.”
But former Lagos State Governor, Mr Ahmed Bola Tinubu warns against the misuse of the social media.
“Social media – indeed all media – including Twitter, are a means for us to all communicate, report, share and engage with stories and each other; to enable economic and social empowerment for Nigerians. But they can be & sometime are misused,” he said.