How small businesses are taking the hit on Twitter ban – Some small businesses that rely on Twitter for survival are finding it tough to cope as a result of the indefinite suspension imposed on the operation of the micro blogging site by the Federal Government.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JE Stores, Jadesola Praise, said her sales had dipped since the ban was imposed because she depends on the platform to reach her customers.
According to her, JE Stores is a virtual shop that deals in unisex wears, sneakers, bags, slides, writs watches and others with nationwide delivery.
“My sales have been affected. I am hopeful that the government and Twitter will reach an agreement soon so that the nightmare will come to and end,” she said.
Also, a Lagos-based entrepreneur, Ogechi Egemonu, said she was selling more than N500,000 worth of watches, shoes and handbags on Twitter weekly.
Now, with the site suspended by the government, Egemonu does not know how she will cope.
“Social media is where I eat. I depend on social media for my livelihood,” she told Reuters.
Praise and Egemonu are few of the several small, medium enterpriseses (SMEs) in the country that have been affected by the indefinite suspension of the micro-blogging platform.
The Federal Government had on June 4, announced the “indefinite” suspension of Twitter over “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”. It came days after the platform President Muhammadu Buhari’s post threatening to punish secessionist agitators.
He said that a “sizeable number of citizens” use Twitter to make a living.
Parliament’s minority caucus warned the suspension was costing Nigerians “billions of naira on a daily basis.”
Dumebi Iyeke, a research analyst with the Financial Derivatives Company, said it would hit young Nigerians – among whom there is a 45 per cent unemployment rate – the hardest.
“We are looking at a potential loss in their revenue,” Iyeke said, adding that it could further lower living standards amid high inflation.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed last week said that all social media sites must register a local entity and get a license to operate. He cited complaints over lost money as proof that the ban was effective, but said other sites are still available.
“Section 2(1) r of the NBC Act entrusts the Commission with responsibility to ensure strict adherence to the national laws, rules and regulations,” the DG said.
“Section 3.11.2 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code provides that ‘the broadcaster shall ensure that law enforcement is upheld at all times in a matter depicting that law and order are socially superior to or more desirable than Crime and Anarchy.”
“Attention is also drawn to section 5.6.3 of The Code which requires Broadcasters to be mindful of materials that may cause disaffection, incite to panic or rift in the society in the use of a user generated Content (UGC).
“Note that it will be unpatriotic for any broadcaster in Nigeria to continue to patronise the suspended Twitter as a source of its information therefore strict compliance is enjoined.”
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