We all know how all these started; the social media giant deleting a tweet from president Muhammadu Buhari’s account for violating it’s rule.
On Friday, June 4, 2021, Nigerians Minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter in the country. He also disclosed the government’s directive to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to start licensing all over-the-top (OTT) and social media operations.
The move has drawn outrage from Nigerians who see it as yet another attack on free speech by the government.
On Sat. 5th June 2021, Wunmi, a digital marketer lost a gig worth #600,000 ($1,200).The marketing campaign was to start the next day but she got a call from a client telling her they couldn’t proceed anymore due to “orders from above”.
Technology has not stopped saving the day, currently about 39 million Nigerians use VPNs. as internet service providers in Nigeria like MTN and AIRTEL has blocked all access to Twitter.
While still mourning the loss of the first job, Wunmi lost another one for the Same reason. “Everything felt like a waste. What was worse was another #700,000 ($1400) deal ended up in the mud. The client paid #150,000 ($333) at least for the little job I had done” she said.
EFFECT ON BUSINESSES
For many Nigerians, this ban has affected how they stay informed, get opportunities and build relationships. Businesses on the other hand have experienced a decline in engagements and sales.
Over the past few years, the influencer marketing space in Nigeria has grown so much that almost anyone with dedicated followers could strick deals with organizations looking to extend their reach.
The ban on Twitter has drastically affected influencers who base basically on Twitter. While they may be able to afford VPN Services, their followers who keep them in business may be unable or reluctant to do so.
The rise of Technology has created a platform for unlimited possibilities in the internet. From social media managers to content creators and product photographers, thousands of Nigerians have created careers off these platforms. This ban puts their sources of livelihood at risk.
Lots of other businesses like Merchants, those who wish to start up businesses online, those whos businesses depends solely on Twitter for advertisements has been drastically affected.
In the case of NIFRIES; an online food delivery service fund relies on Twitter to reach it’s audience, it’s customers aren’t responding as they used to. Nigerians and business owners are still hoping that the Nigerian government will one day consider businesses and lift the ban.