FG directive may further stifle investment inflow if not withdrawn – NESG

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has projected that if the federal government does not retract the ban recently placed on Twitter, a microblogging social platform, investment inflow into Nigeria will further decline.

The economic think-tank made this known in a public statement where it recalled that Nigeria’s investment inflow has had a weak performance for some time, performing averagely when compared with its peers, adding that in the last five years, FDI inflows into Nigeria has remained around $1billion.

According to NESG, directives and policies such as the unprecedented ban will force investors to take flight taking with them long-term capital, and also scare prospective investors away. This will constrain the anticipated fast economic growth.

“The temporary suspension of Twitter in Nigeria sends out a wrong signal and will stand in the way of our path to rapid economic recovery, at a difficult time like this, when Nigeria must grow its economy, plug into the global digital revolution, attract patient international capital and sustained foreign currency inflow to address our foreign exchange challenges,” NESG noted

The group also said that digital sector has been crucial in accelerating Nigeria’s recovery from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic particularly supporting the activities of the Micro, Small and Medium scale (MSME) enterprises.

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Hence, the ban will negatively affect the operations of small businesses that engage in digital trade. As social media platforms like Twitter have become a tool for engaging existing and potential clients, a platform to exchange ideas, share progress, and address complaints towards optimal service delivery.

“Likewise, 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,” it stated.

Consequently, the ban will cause a cyclical effect on economic activities, thereby raising further concerns on unemployment, poverty, insecurity and economic attractiveness.

NESG therefore urged that Against the Federal Government to review the directive and rescind the suspension to foster inclusive development, global competitiveness, and much faster economic growth in Nigeria.

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