Chiedozie Igweonu, a leading Nigerian IT expert, has explained that the positives coming from Twitter outweigh the negatives despite that some users have occasionally used the medium for misinformation and hate speech.
Igweonu made this disclosure in an interview with his concern coming amid heightened demands from Nigerians pressing for the removal of the ban on social media giant, Twitter.
It would be recalled that Nigerians woke up on June 5, 2021, to news of Twitter suspension by the federal government after the platform removed President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet.
The Nigerian minister for information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed promised in August 2021 that the ban would be lifted once Twitter submits to local licencing, registration and conditions.
Meanwhile, the suspension of social media giant has hurt Nigerian businesses and drawn widespread condemnation for its damaging effect on freedom of expression.
Twitter doing more favours than harm
Igweonu told Legit.ng that some businesses that relied on Twitter have been affected by the federal government’s action.
“Twitter is one of the major social media platforms and has become the favourite platform for citizen engagement and enlightenment.
“While the platform has occasionally been used for misinformation and hate speech the positives far outweigh the negatives.
“There are thousands of businesses that rely on Twitter to function properly and the recent ban is affecting them negatively. I must add that with the ban, Nigeria has joined a list of nations known for stifling free speech.”
Nigerian tech space drawn back by govt policies
Igweonu, who has been a consistent voice and advocate for the tech sector in Nigeria, also stated that inconsistent government policies are affecting the growth of the tech sector in Nigeria.
According to him, the Nigerian tech space needs more financial support and capital investment.
“Inconsistent government policy direction has done more harm than good to the Tech space in Nigeria. Innovation and technology are driven and powered by financial and human capital investments.
“These investments are only possible in environments where government policy is clear and consistent.”
The IT guru, however, urged potential IT personnel to take advantage of limitless opportunities they can gain on the internet.
“I like to say that the opportunities are limitless. Google is running a pilot for Nigeria/Africa to certify 200,000 Nigerians on Google digital skills each year.
“The training is online and completely free. Facebook and other tech companies are running complimentary programs to bridge the skill gaps for Africans,” he added.