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Twitter ban remains as Nigeria loses N220.36bn



Twitter ban remains as Nigeria loses N220.36bn

The Nigerian Communications Commission has said the Twitter ban in Nigeria is still in effect as the commission is yet to recieve the green light from the Ministry of Information to lift the ban.

This was disclosed by the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde.

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.

This comes after some Nigerians had on Wednesday September 1, reported gaining access to the app without Virtual Private Networks on their laptops.

It was gathered that the reported access to Twitter had only been on Internet Service Providers networks, and not through the mobile networks.

A source in an ISP company told Punch, “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.

Twitter ban remains as Nigeria loses N220.36bn

“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 indefinitely banned Twitter on June 4, days after the microblogging site deleted a tweet by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), which violated its rules.

The Federal Government had since told a Federal High Court in Lagos that it had not stopped Nigerians from using Twitter.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who is the head of a committee set up to negotiate with Twitter recently announced that the committee negotiating with Twitter would soon arrive at an agreement.

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

One of the conditions set by the government for lifting the ban is that Twitter should register with the Companies and Allied Matters Act, and establish a physical presence in Nigeria.

According to Statista, Nigeria has about 33 million active social media users, with about 26 percent on Twitter. Since the ban began, Nigeria has lost N220.36bn. This figure was calculated based on the NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool.

The report said 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.

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