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NCC: Twitter Ban Remains as Nigerians Lose N220.36bn

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The ban social media giants, Twittby the Nigerian government is still in effect according to the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde.

“There is no communications from the Ministry of Information yet about lifting the ban,” Adinde said.

The NCC had sent a memo to Mobile Network Operators and Internet Service Providers to block access to Twitter for the ban imposed by the Federal Government to take effect.

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It was reported on Wednesday that some Nigerians gained access to the app without Virtual Private Networks on their laptops.

The reported access to Twitter was only on Internet Service Providers networks, and not through the mobile networks.

A source in an ISP company said, “The way blocking works when it comes to the network is, a specific site or server or URL will be put under a blacklist. Or an instruction will be given to block traffic going to or coming from a certain server. So, a router that sits in between serves as a blockade rather than work as a go through; it will block it.

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“Depending on the technology deployed, there might be loopholes. A problem could be as regards implementation. It can create a loophole, a human error.”

The Federal Government had on June 4, 2021 banned Twitter indefinitely in the country after the microblogging site violated its rules by deleted a tweet made by the President Muhammadu Buhari.

The President thereafter set up a committee consisting of five ministers including the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed as head of the committee to negotiate with Twitter.

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Mohammed recently announced that the committee negotiating with Twitter would soon arrive at an agreement.

“Everything will be ironed out with Twitter within a few days or weeks,” he said.

Also, the FG hopes to get the company to commit itself to working with the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

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Mohammed had said, “If you make money from Nigeria, you pay taxes according to Nigerian laws.”

Twitter makes money from advertising, data licensing and others. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the company generated $556.15m from revenues outside the United States. In Q1 2021, it generated $479.79m. In Q2 2021, it generated $537.35m outside the US.

According to Statista, Nigeria has about 33 million active social media users, with about 26 per cent on Twitter.

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Since the ban began, Nigeria has lost N220.36bn. This figure was calculated based on the NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool.

According to the tool, it costs Nigeria’s economy N103.17m ($250,600) every hour to ban Twitter. It has been 2,136 hours since the FG banned Twitter.

Financial planner, Kalu Aja, had said, “Social media enables the brand to talk directly to consumers. It’s direct marketing, specific and targeted.”

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