Twitter, has begun talks with the Federal Government with the aim of ensuring the lifting of suspension placed on the American company by Nigeria.
The popular microblogging and social networking service, made this known in a post on Monday through its verified Twitter Public Policy’s handle.
The company also pledged to respect laws put in place in Nigeria even as it vowed to ensure peace, progress and freedom of speech.
“We’re committed to peace, progress and freedom of speech of the Nigerian people. We have reviewed our actions andvare in communication with the Nigerian government andc promise to respect the laws and doverienghtyc of Nigeria,” the company tweeted.
PlatinumPost reports that Nigeria on Friday announced indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operations in the country, two days after the social media network removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish regional secessionists for attacks on government buildings.
The news, which the information ministry announced on Twitter itself, sparked outrage among social media users in Nigeria, where Twitter is hugely popular.
A days later, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the government would prosecute any Nigerian still using the social media platform, a move that that has been largely defied by Nigerians who are now using VPN to access the services.
Nigeria is said to be losing millions of dollars every day since the ban of Twitter.
A non-governmental organisation, Paradigm Initiative, a digital advocacy organisation, has put the cost of suspending Twitter operations in Nigeria at $250,600 per hour.
“Exactly 24 hours ago, the government of Nigeria announced the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria. Since then, the country has lost N2,177,089,051 ($6,014,390) based on the cost of Shutdown Tool. The loss continues at a rate of N90,712,044 ($250,600) every hour,” it said on Saturday.
The company used the NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool to arrive at the estimate. The tool estimates the economic impact of internet disruptions, mobile data blackouts or app restriction using indicators from the World Bank, International Telecommunication Union, Eurostat, and US Census.
A finance officer at Greenville LNG, Ogidiaka Ovie, said, “Government policies, over time, have discouraged investors. Many multinationals will continue to withdraw from Nigeria like Shoprite. The business environment is harsh in Nigeria.
“The ban on Twitter will surely affect the economy as many businesses now thrive on the Internet. Nigeria may risk denial of loans from multilateral creditors as the majority of these institutions are controlled by the United States, and they have a way of protecting their businesses.”
A finance officer at Vedic Lifecare Nigeria Limited, Okorie Iheanacho, said, “A lot of business transactions are being carried out on Twitter. As a result of the ban, there may be a temporary loss of activities there. Unemployment may occur if it lingers for long as companies would reduce their admin expenses.
“The ban sends a negative signal to both prospective and existing investors on the economy as they would not like to have a physical presence in Nigeria. This will lead to reduction in income flow to the economy in the form of tax.”