Nigeria: Twitter Ban is Bad for SMEs
As a Nigerian who has spent a third of his life outside the shores of Nigeria, the recent ban on twitter creates a disconnection with business insights. I am a distance user of the twitter app but its role in terms of insight gathering can not be under estimated. Every morning and sometimes, late at night. I logged into the app to empirically take cognizance of what is going on my country. Insights from what is being discussed and by extension an insight into what goes on inside the mind of my compatriots. They are potential customer to business project in development stages.
As an entrepreneur, insights helps in validating ideas as well as support the creation of new ones. Post pandemic, small and medium enterprise - (SMEs), the need for research-based/insight-based ideation and strategic planning cum implementation cannot be over emphasized. My doctorial research which coincidentally shares light on impact and role of data governance on entrepreneurship development, shows that research insight as a result of data availability and the policies that supports the same, determines a nation's entrepreneurial attitude, ability and aspirations. Simply put, the more insight that they have access to, the more their creative wimps within that polity.
SMEs are like blood vessel in an economy. We know, the role that conglomerates play. Employment, GDP contribution, CSR just mention a view. They are credited because their relevance is obvious in a nation GDP calculations. Well, SMEs are the true economic stimulant. They enable velocity of money, timelessly. For the same of case study, I have always to my students that, it not the presence of money in a human body, that keeps it alive. It is the movement of blood within the human body that does. This is the same for an economy. Just like blood movement is the life of the body, money movement is the life of the economy and no economic stakeholder does that faster, quicker and more consistently like SME’s.
The role of technology on economic development is in it's capability and enablement to SME’s. Their ability to carry out business activity in small fractions, that would have otherwise be possible in the absence of it. So, in effect, the Nigeria government has intentionally killed its already struggling economy with this sentimental ban to fan the ego of an ignorant president and backward leadership. It has reduced the capability of SMEs to play their economic role effectively.
Lets assume the ban is justified for whatever reason, can they provide an alternative? China has alternative at the expense of the ban. North Korea does too. Nigeria leaders has absolutely no clue in this regard. Some impacts are as listed below
1. Strategic resource, already allocation is tantamount to waste
2. Longer break-even period is, hitherto in effect
3. Unemployment level increases and impacts GDP
4. Entrepreneurial and innovative confidence decreases, as a result of needed insights
5. VPN subscription reduces customer spending power
6. Customer engagement is adversely affected
7. Sales channel opportunity is lost
8. Revenue is by implication, affected
9. Deterrent of foreign investors
10. Level of product quality is, adversely affected
Why is this important?
It is unfortunate to conclude that Nigerian SMEs is in impossible position viz-a-vis their global counterparts. While the rest of the world is creating policies that empowers and enable this important economic sector, the Nigerian leadership continually dwell in their ignorance. Political environment is an important part of business environment. The current Nigeria is the reason, SME are encouraged with PESTLE analysis with emphasis on the P. Before and during business operation, political scan as well as the other scans can insulates business operations against, impact of similar insensitive move by the leadership of the location, where their business is located. Be prepared for everything. It is the hallmark of being a modern-day, successful entrepreneur.