Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Senior Special Adviser to the President on New Media, Mr. Tolu Ogunlesi has revealed that 16 million Nigerians use Facebook monthly while 7 million out of the 16 million use the medium daily.
He also admitted that most of the ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) of government do not update their websites, saying it makes it difficult for Nigerians, and even foreign investors to have access to information. He however promised that there would be changes in a couple of months.
Ogunlesi made this known in Abuja at the launching of Conversations for Change (C4C) Media Strategy, aimed at creating the platform to inform, empower and provide platform for young people to exchange ideas and have their voices heard.
According to him, “every month, 16 million Nigerians use facebook, 7 million of those people use Facebook daily, Blackberry Messenger (BBM), they are almost 5 million, Twitter is a couple of millions, connected mobile phones is 150 million, about 90 millions of those mobile phones are connected to the internet monthly.”
He said there has never been any media that cover a large part of the population as the social media, stressing that it is interesting to be part of C4C that is determined to bring young people together with social media, which has been known as the default mode of communication for young people.
Ogunlesi noted: “What we met on ground when we started was that there is no online record of the previous government for the past five years. It is true that government parastatals and MDAs don’t have up-to-date information on their website. But in another couple of months there will be changes.”
In her opening remarks, the founder of C4C, Dr. Kechi Ogbuagu said the aim of the organisation is to create a niche where young people can freely make their experiences and opinions on current and topical issues known.
She noted: “we will provide platforms across social media sites where important and relevant dialogues are hosted. We also seek to provide correct and up-to-date information on these issues as well as accountability tool in order to track the progress the nation is making towards youth empowerment.”
Ogbuagu explained that there was a need to find a mechanism through which young people could be reached through social media with information, and also allowed them to get their opinions heard, thereby making those in government accountable.
“The C4C social media strategy is a purely interactive platform which depends on members of the public joining the conversation. In addition to articles published weekly on the blog containing information and monitoring of current issues, there will be moderated discussions once a week where anyone can login and contribute to the discussion.
“The dialogue will be of high standard and will be exchanged and will drive further research and a consciousness of our world.