The Nigerian government on Wednesday lifted the suspension of Twitter operations in the country following approval by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool, Nigeria lost about N104.02million ($250,600) every hour to the ban, bringing the daily losses to N2.46billion.
The report also showed that at the end of Wednesday when the ban was lifted, it was 5,328 hours in the 222 days since the social networking site was blocked, and about N546.5 billion was already lost by the economy.
Report has revealed that there were about 3.05 million Twitter users and potential audiences that the microblogging platform could reach with adverts on the platform.
2021 digital report, by a social media and marketing dashboard, Hootsuite, Twitter’s potential advertising audience compared to the total population aged 13 plus in Nigeria is 2.4 per cent, while the quarter-on-quarter change in Twitter’s advertising reach is 17.3 per cent.
The implication of this is that Twitter’s penetration in the country is still very low compared to other platforms. Analytically, it equally means that it is unlikely that these 3.05 million adverts audience would be impacted by the American company.
While the ban lasted, some Nigerians, including government officials, were still tweeting. They circumvented the process by installing Virtual Private Network (VPN).
VPN is a technology that encrypts your Internet traffic on unsecured networks to protect your online identity and hide your details.
The lifting of Twitter ban had been announced on Wednesday by the Chairman Technical Committee, Nigeria-Twitter Engagement and Director-General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.
Kashifu, in a statement in Abuja, said the approval was given following a memo written to the President by Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim.
He said: “The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) 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 12am 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 Ibrahim.
“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.”
Buhari’s government banned the use of microblogging site, Twitter in Nigeria on June 4, 2021, while the ban was lifted after 222 days.