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A Multimillion Dollar Economic Headache for Abuja

Nigeria’s shutdown of Twitter, which came into effect on June 5 has impacted businesses of all sizes, from banks to startups, who use social media for activities like customer service and dispute resolution. The ban has also hit entrepreneurs and vendors who are able to gain visibility through social media campaigns and viral tweets, and the content creators, and marketers who have built a career out of running those campaigns. British firm Top10VPN estimates that the ban has affected around 104.4 million internet users in the country and cost the country around $366.9 million. The firm made the calculations using a tool developed by internet governance watchdog organization Netblocks, and Internet Society, a US advocacy nonprofit.  The tool is based on similar methodologies used by organizations such as the Brookings Institution, a US research organization. So far in 2021, only Myanmar and India have had worse financial losses than Nigeria from an internet shutdown of some form, Top10VPN estimates. Uganda, which disrupted internet access in January for a controversial presidential election, is in fourth place, with its shutdown costing around $51.5 million. eSwatini is in the ninth position due to an internet shutdown in July during pro-democracy protests.