Nigeria: 'Twitter Ban Poses Huge Threat to Businesses, Investment'

24 June 2021

Players in the marketing communications industry have expressed fear that the ban on Twitter may draw back businesses still wriggling out of the challenges posed by the COVID-19.

They also pointed out that the ban may send the wrong signal to foreign investors, thereby causing unemployment and other economic challenges.

To this end, the practitioners, who expressed their views differently, have urged the federal government to rescind the ban on the social media platform in the interest of established and startups.

Speaking on the issue, the president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Steve Babaeko called on the federal government to rescind the ban on twitter, so as to avoid further constraints faced by businesses in the country.

Speaking on a national television, the AAAN President said going by the current unemployment rate in the country, the continuous ban on twitter will exacerbate the unemployment situation as well as reduce investment flow into the ICT value-chain.

Babaeko also said with a chunk of media spend on Twitter, media agencies and digital agencies would continue to lose revenue if the government refuse to lift the ban.

Meanwhile, in an interview with THISDAY, the Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Lagos State chapter, Segun MacMedal, said the timing of the ban on twitter was wrong, given the fact that businesses are just readjusting after over a year of lockdown.

"While I'm not trying to make a case for Twitter, I think the government ought to consider, first, the impact the ban will have on businesses. During the lockdown, smart businesses leveraged social media to deepen penetration.

"For players in the marketing communications industry, twitter and other social media platforms instantly became major vehicles to drive campaigns. After the lockdown, more businesses have incorporated social media into their marketing processes and strategies. The recent ban has thus limited the options and I think this is not the best," he stated.

MacMedal further added that the suspension has sent the bad signal to foreign investors and that small businesses using Twitter as a source of livelihood in Nigeria will be affected.

"Like I said, the federal hovernment ought to consider businesses in the country that are using digital media to reach customers, communicate with various stakeholders and use it to deepen penetration. Ironically, just the way the coronavirus came unexpectedly, Twitter ban was unimaginable until the Presidency wielded the big stick," he stated.

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