By Princewill Ekwujuru
“The cure for a severe headache just can’t be the severance of the head” That was the tweet I posted immediately the news broke that the Federal Government was going for a Twitter ban in Nigeria.
Firstly we need to realise that it is not only our government that’s battling with the democratisation of Information and speech that social media platforms like Twitter provide to citizens. Most democratic countries have been able to manage the situation via constructive engagement as opposed to the big stick wielding dictatorship countries.
Now to the business impact, a sizeable portion of the youth population earn their livelihood off Twitter, some simply by being attack dogs or mouthpiece for politicians and the government. Clearly income for those youths will be lost no thanks to the ban.
A chunk of media spend happens on Twitter, the media agencies and digital agencies will also lose money.
Let me appeal to the government to rescind this ban immediately. Unemployment among the youth segment currently stands at about 35%, depending on which state of the Federation you are looking at, the Crypto and Twitter ban will only exacerbate the unemployment situation. An idle hand they say is the Devil’s workshop.
Finally the ban will be of little or no effect since most people have simply downloaded VPN to skirt around the ban. If that’s the case, then I don’t think this head bump with Twitter is worth further depressing our already fragile economy over.
President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Steve Babaeko