Nigeria economy loses $250,600 to Twitter ban per hour
Woes of Nigeria’s struggling economy may have been compounded by the recent ban of Twitter operations in the country.
According to an estimate by NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool (COST) used by Paradigm Initiative, a nonprofit digital right advocacy body, and confirmed by Business Metrics, the country has been losing $250,600 or N90,712,044 to every hour of the ban.
Thus, at the end of the first 24 hours of the suspension, it is calculated that Nigeria already lost $6,014,390 or N2,177,089,051 based on the calculation.
The NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool (COST) estimates the economic impact of an internet disruption, mobile data blackout or app restriction using indicators from the World Bank, ITU, Eurostat and U.S. Census.
Internet performance and service reachability are determined via NetBlocks web probe privacy-preserving analytics.
Each measurement consists of latency round trip time, outage type and autonomous system number aggregated in real-time to assess service availability and latency in a given country.
Network providers and locations are enumerated as vantage point pairs. The root cause of a service outage may be additionally corroborated by means of traffic analysis and manual testing as detailed in the report.
Cause and Reactions
Already, the Federal government of Nigeria has received a deluge of condemnation across the world for banning the operations of the microblogging site after the social media platform deleted a post on civil war by President Muhammadu Buhari of the country, which Twitter considered a violation of its terms of usage saying the post was capable of inciting a civil unrest.
Nigerian authorities thus accused Twitter of undermining the corporate existence of the country by deleting the President’s post, and for creating a platform of fake news and hate speech to thrive.
Earlier, Paradigm Initiative (PIN) had condemned the ban, saying that that the directive by the Nigerian government is at its core, an abuse of the rights of Nigerians not just to freedom of expression, but many other rights guaranteed in the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended), the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
According to the civil society organization, “This suspension, which is a reaction of the Nigerian government to the company’s enforcement of its platform rules, is aimed at insulating the government from criticism, especially by Nigeria’s youth who are over 70% of the country’s population.
“It must be noted that Nigeria’s President has notably been insulated from every form of public accountability. He is perhaps the only president since the country’s return to democracy in 1999 who never grants live interviews or holds media chats. This move is therefore aimed at making him unaccountable to the people of Nigeria who constantly take to social media platforms to share their views on the actions and policies of the government.
“It is evident that shutting down Twitter is illegal and illegitimate policies such as this are unacceptable!
“A 2016 United Nations resolution affirms that the rights that citizens have offline must apply online. Coincidentally, this resolution was co-sponsored by Nigeria with others. We urge the Nigerian authorities to respect and enforce citizens’ fundamental rights as provided for by the Nigerian constitution and International human rights treaties that Nigeria is a party to.
“We will further contact the Ministry of Information to get exact details of this announcement, and the legal framework that supports such undemocratic pronouncement. We advise all users of twitter and other social media platforms in Nigeria to download virtual private networks (VPNs) to enable them continue to use the platforms for their economic survival and social and political engagements while we all push back on this draconian order by the Nigerian government.
PIN also offered guide on how to stay online in cases of network disruptions and download the Ayeta toolkit, designed in anticipation of such dictatorial acts.