Analysts have raised the alarm that the twitter ban has put many businesses in the lurch and that worse hit people are young Nigerians, among who,m, there is 45 per cent unemployment rate.
Ealier, parliament’s minority caucus had warned the suspension was costing Nigerians “billions of naira on a daily basis.”
Dumebi Iyeke, a research analyst with the Financial Derivatives Company, said it would hit young Nigerians – among whom there is a 45 per cent unemployment rate, the hardest.
“We are looking at a potential loss in their revenue,” Iyeke said, adding that it could further lower living standards amid high inflation.
Lagos-based entrepreneur Ogechi Egemonu was selling more than N500,000 ($1,219) worth of watches, shoes and handbags on Twitter per week.
Now, with the site suspended by the government, Egemonu does not know how she will cope.
“Social media is where I eat,” she told Reuters. “I depend on social media for my livelihood.”
Scores of small and medium-sized businesses across Africa’s most populous nation – and largest economy – are reeling from the indefinite suspension of the social media site.
Nigeria announced the suspension on June 4, days after the platform removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish regional separatists. Most telecommunications sites have since blocked access. read more
NOI Polls estimates that 39.6 million Nigerians use Twitter – 20% of them for business advertisement and 18% to look for employment. Experts warn its lack of ready availability – it is accessible using Virtual Private Networks that mask location – could ripple across the economy.
Lagos based entreprenuer Ogechi Egemonu opens the Twitter app on a smart phone at her office in Lagos, Nigeria June 10, 2021. REUTERS/Seun Sanni
“The ban has significant collateral damage,” said Muda Yusuf, director general of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, who said that a “sizeable number of citizens” use Twitter to make a living.