The Nigerian Economic Summit Group has said that the ban on US based microblogging platform, Twitter, will hit hard on the country’s Information and communications technology sector which is the best performing sector in the country.
The Federal Government last week banned Nigerian users of the platform with a threat to prosecute offenders.
The action by the government was due to a ‘Civil war’ tweet made by President Muhammdu Buhari which was deleted by Twitter after it dubbed it inciteful.
NESG said, “For many of these businesses, social media platforms have become a veritable tool for engaging existing and potential clients over the years.
“As a result, platforms like Twitter, which has about 17 million active users in Nigeria, have become a community for businesses and clients to exchange ideas, share progress, and address complaints towards optimal service delivery.”
In 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic drove Nigeria into recession, only a few sectors led by the ICT sector outperform expectations.
The ICT sector in 2020 recorded the fastest growth rate of 12.9 per cent.
In the first quarter of 2021 alone, ICT contributed about 9.91 percent to the total GDP, which is about N4trn.
NESG said, “This means that the digital sector remains crucial in accelerating Nigeria’s recovery from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.”
Nigeria’s unemployment level has risen to 33.3 per cent and poverty level has equally surged.
The group said, “The digital marketing and e-commerce space has unveiled new markets for many Nigerian companies, particularly among the youth, many of whom have an active online presence.
“The contribution of these companies to job creation, value addition, and the economy has been salutary.”
The group further warned that to fully recover from the pains of the 2020 recession, the government must rethink its decision on Twitter usage.