ICT Presents Opportunities, Challenges through Social Media Players

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Jessica Odemwingie in Abuja

The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has observed that the democratisation of information technology presents both new opportunities and new challenges leading to the deliberate misinformation of the unsuspecting public by some social media players.

He said that development has informed the “unfounded social media reports that the launch of the “Change Begins with Me” campaign cost N3.4 billion.”

He said the entire 2016 capital budget of the Federal Ministry of Information was less than N2 billion.

Mohammed stated this while speaking to journalists at the 46th National Council on Information (NCI) in Asaba, Delta State recently.

He therefore urged the conventional media to always verify before adopting contents originating from the social media.

The Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Garba Abari, has described the social media as complementary to the conventional media, stressing that both must be allowed to co-exist for a robust information spectrum in Nigeria. Abari was reacting to recent clamors for close censorship of the social media in Nigeria.

He said the contributions of the social media remained essential to the achievement of government’s information objectives, in line with the “Change Begins with Me” campaign, noting however, the need for a more responsible use of social media space by the public.

He explained that the “Change Begins with Me” campaign was a clarion call on Nigerians to personally imbibe the change mantra as a self-policy, both in government business and in private life as a combined top-bottom and bottom-top approach to national reorientation.

Speaking on the current economic recession, Abari said “Recession is not a death sentence, however, it requires concerted effort by all Nigerians to exit this experience”. He said government, on its part, is blocking leakages of resources while appealing to Nigerians for a positive change of attitude towards appreciating the present economic realities and curbing wastage.