THE EFFECT OF THE TWITTER BAN ON SMALL BUSINESSES IN nigeria ( A CASE STUDY OF selected SMALL BUSINESSES IN PORT HARCOURT)
1.1 Background Of The Study
Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMEs) are worldwide recognized as genuine instruments for wealth creation, job creation, and sustainability. According to studies, SMEs continue to serve as the backbone of both established and developing nations, since they account for between 70 and 95% of all businesses in the majority of nations and generate between 50 and 80% of all employment (Ogbechie, & Anetor 2015). In Nigeria, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a key role in creating employment and income prospects for low-income workers. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (National Bureau of Statistics, 2017), as of December 2017, 84.02 percent of Nigeria's total labor force was employed by the SME sector.
In an era marked by global cutthroat competition, a knowledge-based economy, technical advancements, and innovation, social media has played a crucial role in enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (Aremu, & Adeyemi 2011). According to Oso (2011), one of the prerequisites of social media is that it may be considered as a strategic tool for economic advancement, that is, it can contribute to the cultural, human, social, political, and economic development of a nation. Twitter is one of these social media platforms that encourage economic growth.
In Nigeria, Twitter has become a source of income, community, and knowledge during the past decade. Consequently, the federal Ministry of Information and Culture's recent ban on Twitter in Nigeria has affected millions of Nigerians. The decision inevitably infuriated Nigerians, who view it as a government assault on free expression. However, speech freedom is not the only thing that is harmed (Vanguard News). Businesses in Nigeria are especially susceptible to the difficulties caused by Twitter's recent prohibition.
Small and medium-sized businesses are essential to the growth of Nigeria's economy, usually providing 60-70 percent of the country's jobs. About 117.4 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria account for 96% of businesses and 84% of employment. Numerous SMBs have utilized the Internet, particularly social media, for marketing and customer service purposes. The quantity of vendors on Twitter is evidence of this. Although these companies may switch to other platforms, their messages may not receive as much attention as they do on Twitter. In light of this context, this study aims to analyze the impact of the Twitter ban on small and medium-sized enterprises in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala estimates that 39.6 million Nigerians use Twitter, with 20% using it to promote their businesses and 18% using it to seek work (Vanguard news). Countless small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa's most populous country and largest economy are hurting from Twitter's indefinite ban. It is believed that the suspension will have a particular influence on Nigerian enterprises who employ Twitter for certain activities. According to the online newspaper Vanguard, the rippling effect of the ban will have an effect on economic operations, some of which are sources of income for millions of young Nigerians, as well as online news platforms that leverage Twitter to extend their reach and bring news closer to the people. Regarding the implications for technologically-based financial service providers, it was noted that “Fintech firms without physical locations utilize Twitter to inform customers about their product offerings and promotions. In addition, Telecos resolves a number of customer complaints through their social media accounts and informs them of the latest specials. For investment platforms such as Piggyvest, Flutter0wave, and others, this recent development will have a significant impact on their online client engagement approach. In light of the preceding, the purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of Twitter's prohibition on small businesses in Nigeria.
1.3 Objective of the study
This study's primary purpose is to investigate the impact of Twitter's prohibition on small companies in Nigeria. Specifically, the purpose of this investigation is;
Determine whether Twitter's ban will negatively affect Nigerian SMBs.
Determine whether the Twitter ban will impact SME business-to-customer relations.
Determine whether the Twitter ban will affect the earnings of Nigerian small and medium-sized enterprises.
1.4 Research hypothesis
The term “hypothesis” refers to a tentative experimental assertion demonstrating the relationship between two or more variables. It is subject to testing and may be accepted or refused based on whether or not it conforms to the statistical analysis.
The research will examine the veracity of the following hypothesis:
H01: The Twitter ban will not negatively affect Nigerian SMEs.
H02: The Twitter ban will have no effect on the business-client relationships of Nigerian SMEs.
H03: The Twitter ban will have no effect on the revenue of Nigerian SMEs.
1.5 Significance Of The Study
This study will be applicable in multiple ways. This study will first inform the Nigerian government about the economic impact of Twitter's ban on the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises in the country. The report will also tell them of Twitter's economic value to Nigeria and how it has provided many Nigerians with earning prospects. This study will educate small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the possible plan to implement in order to absorb the significant impact of the prohibition. This study will also serve as a resource for students, academics, SMEs, and even the general public who wish to conduct related research.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
This study is limited to determining whether the Twitter ban will have a negative effect on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, whether the Twitter ban will affect the business customer relations of SMEs, and whether the weather ban will have an impact on the revenue of businesses in Nigeria. Consequently, this study is restricted to a subset of Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, SMEs.
1.7 Limitations Of The Study
Among the limitations of this research are:
Due to the economic hardships that individuals, including the researchers, are experiencing, it is no longer possible to collect a larger sample size, which would have helped the study cover more ground. Consequently, this activity will be restricted to a subset of SMEs in Port-harcourt, Rivers State.
Time: It was not unusual for the researcher to be confined by a time constraint, as it constituted a significant threat to the intended success of the study's coverage. It is the researcher's objective to conduct interviews with all of the respondents from the selected SMEs; however, it has become difficult to explain this goal due to the researcher's academic and professional obligations, as well as his or her social obligations.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
Social media refers to all forms of new media technology that allow for the interactive sharing of information, videos, images, text, and comments on websites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin, YouTube, and Blogs.
Twitter is an American microblogging and social networking website where users post and engage with “tweets”
SMEs: Small and medium scale enterprises.
THE EFFECT OF THE TWITTER BAN ON SMALL BUSINESSES IN NIGERIA ( A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED SMALL BUSINESSES IN PORT HARCOURT)