Founder of Ogelle, Africa’s first user generated content platform, Osita Oparaugo, has added his voice to the calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to lift its ban on Twitter.
Oparaugo made this appeal in a New Year’s message issued on Saturday, saying the Twitter ban has served its purpose and needed to be reversed.
He also called on all Africans, at home and in the Diaspora, as well as global lovers of African content to embrace Ogélle as the platform continues to build Africa’s online community.
“Millions of Nigerians are still on Twitter and a lot more will join this year using VPN. So, of what use is the ban if not sending the wrong message that Nigeria is not favourable to investors and the government is against freedom of speech?” Oparaugo said.
Twitter has stayed banned in Nigeria since June 4, 2021 when the Nigerian government announced an indefinite suspension of the microblogging site’s operations in the country.
The ban has been reported to have adversely affected economic and business activities in the country, especially for Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) who do business on Twitter.
According to NetBlocks, a watchdog organization that monitors cybersecurity and governance of the Internet, Nigeria loses N2.46 billion daily to the Twitter ban at the rate of $250,000 (N102.5 million) per hour.
But millions of Nigerians have bypassed the ban to access Twitter through VPN. Days after the ban, ExpressVPN reported an over 200 percent increase in web traffic and searches for VPN spiked across the country.
In his Independence Day broadcast on October 1, 2021, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari gave five conditions that Twitter must fulfil for the ban to be lifted. Hopes were raised that the ban was at an end, but Twitter operations have remained banned in Nigeria into the new year.
“The government has made its point, and Twitter should by now understand the direction. It is time to let Nigerians enjoy the platform and promote their work,” the Ogelle founder said.
Launched in Nigeria, Rwanda and Ghana in 2019, Ogelle offers 100 percent African content from the six regions of the continent as well as the Diaspora Africa. Ogelle currently boasts of over 30,000 videos with over one million users. The platform targets 100 million general users and 5 million premium users by 2025 and is committed to its vision of becoming the highest aggregator of African resource and entertainment content in the next few years.