#TwitterBan: Job losses loom, economic woes to worsen, NESG, experts warn

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group and economic experts on Sunday described the Federal Government’s ban on a social media network, Twitter, as ill-advised.

Muhammadu Buhari

 

The NESG, in an interview with The PUNCH, said people, particularly the small and medium entrepreneurs, would suffer, adding the ban would compound Nigerians’ economic woes.

Others who spoke to The PUNCH included a former President of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr Sam Nzekwe; a Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Prof Akpan Ekpo; the Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria and the Lead Director, the Centre for Social Justice,  Eze Onyekpere.

They lamented the impact of the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria on businesses, warning that the development was capable of triggering more job losses in the country

Recall 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 the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

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.

“The government’s recent #Twitterban undermines Nigerians’ ability to exercise to exercise this fundamental freedom and sends a poor message to its citizens, investors and businesses,” the US Mission in Nigeria said in a statement on Saturday.

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