Learner’s Submission: Social Media Channels Used by Government of Nigeria

29/05/2015

” Social media is undoubtedly a means at which the whole world is connected within the framework of varied degrees of interrelations. As such one can succinctly state that the social media is a platform that keeps Peoples, Nations and entities in close and continuous reach. The social media is a growing phenomenon with a rising rate at an astronomical level in Nigeria. As a country the awareness was relatively slow in its advent on the exploration of the social media network. Needless to state that the social media was already in vogue in the United Kingdom, Europe and America before Nigeria cut wind of the trend. Having this assertions in mind the fact remains that a plethora of events paved the course of technological change in Nigeria.

On May 29th 1999, Nigeria witnessed another beginning of a democratically elected government with General Olusegun Obasanjo emerging as the president of the country. Prior to this time the country had witnessed series of military coup d’état and toppling of governments from the early 1960s up to 1999 that bedeviled the nation and plunged it reins into backwardness. This administration ushered in a transformation that saw the fortunes of the country gradually returning as there was a rise in foreign relations with the developed nations as well as Foreign Direct Investments (FDI’s) which paved the way for global advancements in international politics, economy and socio-cultural growth.

The rise in the popularity of Social Media network like Twitter, Facebook, My space, Tango Eskimi, Instagram, Linked In just to mention a few and its perceived “status” overture paved the way for the tremendous socio cultural, political and economic gains the country has witnessed in recent times. Undoubtedly the government of Nigeria particularly the political groupings, have seen the great potentialities in the use of the Social Media with which they use as a platform to solicit for votes as well as projecting propaganda messages online to the teeming population of users both home and abroad.

Another twist to this trend is the trajectory the country’s Armed forces like the Nigeria Army, Navy and Air force as well as Paramilitary agencies like the Police, Customs, Immigrations have all used, in which the use of the Social Media platform to exhibit their strides  in the carrying out their respective duties have held sway. Citing the case of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) as a Paramilitary Organization that has a Facebook, You Tube and Twitter account in which they use as a platform to inform the general public on new trends in domestic crime as well as its giant strides in the fight against crime in the nation. The NPF also post videos on trainings online to enable members of the public access to some of its train the trainers courses which is aimed at improving the security awareness of the citizens of the country amongst other things.  More so, the current administration of Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan is a clear example of the use of Social Media in the involvement of politics. The President hired a robust group of young I.T specialist who manage his online account particularly Facebook and which have almost on a periodic basis updated  his Facebook account with detailed information regarding his administration ranging from road constructions, Government projects as well as speeches he delivers on a broad section of issues.

One would want to ponder on the recent general elections of 2015 and the role the social media played particularly Facebook and twitter in the determination of who would eventually win the presidential elections which was a highly debated and controversial issue owing the personalities, alliances and political groupings of the parties involved. From the onset the campaign team of both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) predominantly the two major political parties in the country saw the need to create a robust channel of online messages, jingles and all what not on the internet presumably to convince the populace on the need to elect the right candidate for the job. The twist thereafter came when the APC team spearheaded by a former military Head of State Gen. Muhammadu Buhari GCFR was gaining prominence online with a great amount of people roaring the word CHANGE, a word the opposition used all the way to the day of election which finally saw the APC winning the 2015 presidential elections. The case in point however, is that the opposition clearly had a upper hand because they used the internet to reach a wider base of people, the message spread and even for those who couldn’t use the internet the messages where still passed by those who had access to the internet. The word was CHANGE and it was on every ones lips, even the under-aged could bolster the word.  The change of government is of course imminent  as we await May 29th 2015 for the swearing-in ceremony and hand over of power, it is now left for the opposition to live up to its election promise and parlance which saw them winning the elections in the first place. Whether change would come to eventually reign in the lives of the average Nigerian citizen and the country, time would tell.

Conclusively, there has been an official stance by the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), the Nigerian agency saddled with the task of the sale of waning government properties, to draw up possible regulations for the use of social media in Nigeria. The agency’s Director-General, Benjamin Ezra Dikki has clamored for a review of the autonomy of the use of the social media and the inability of the government to place heavy restrictions on the use. Prior to this time, the Nigerian government had contemplated social media regulations but the motion did not see the light of day as there were series of backlashes. It is uncertain if these clamors for social media regulations would really stand the test of time because even the current President, Goodluck Jonathan has a social media public relations team and the incoming President elect too have used the Social Media platform instrumentally.

To this end, one can draw a conclusion that the Nigerian government and the country as a whole believe in the very essence of the Social Media as a tool to share ideas, information as well as staying connected to one another for the greater good of the nation.” – Olufemi Fajemirokun – Lagos, Nigeria


Learner’s Submission: Social Media Channels Used by Government of India

21/05/2015

“Our Government of India is using lot of social media channels nowadays for spreading the news from different corners for the citizens of India as well as for the whole world.  It can be mentioned over here like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc.  Anyone can also create a personal blog in these social media channels for his/her communication in general.  As for example, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal is maintaining a personal profile and giving lot of important messages for the people of West Bengal.  The said Hon’ble Minister is not only giving important messages, but also providing good suggestion to the people in emergency situation like the natural calamity of earthquake, flood, heavy storm etc.  So the social media channels are very beneficial nowadays and the popularity is increasing day by day.

Lot of good administrators of India and VIP and VVIP personnel are using these social media channels for their message to the concerned people at the existing era of communication.  They are highlighting their important voices through these social media channels so that the large number of common masses can easily know the information within a very short span of time and may initiate action for the said voice, if required from time to time.  It is highly desirable for the people at this time and we cannot think about the lack of information from any corner as we are living in the world of information technology.

Strategic Intelligence is a tool which is used for analyzing or collecting or disseminating the intelligence from time to time and it needs to be communicated also for the group of people who are actually going to initiate any action plan for the sake of national or international level.  Of late, it’s use is highly observed in case of military communication in defence ministry of the Government of India.  Hence, the Government is trying to motivate the citizens of India to use the social media channels specially for safety measures of any place or establishment or property so that everything can be safeguarded in the easiest manner and if any abnormal scenarios found, anyone can communicate with the concerned personnel or authority for handing such type of situation as soon as possible through these communication channels.

Though it is an open source media of communication through network operation, but still it is the only source of inspiring people to be attached with the information world for gathering abstract information rapidly.  These social media channels provide the scope of collecting and analyzing the fact on the basis of information provided and can lead the people to make appropriate decision in a lucid manner in time bound scenarios.

So the social media channels are the only basis/routes/avenues through which not only people can be safeguarded among themselves, but also the people can create an environment for sustainable measures in the near future.  It is a very popular media of communication which subserves the common goal of the people as well as of the Government of a country.  Hence the importance of social media channels is very much remarkable in communicating diversification among people of the world.” – Tapas Kumar Debnath – West Bengal, India.


Learner’s Submission: Social Media Channels Used by Ethiopian Government and its Importance

19/05/2015

“Now a days social media is one of commonly used words as various social Medias are getting more popular. We can define social media as a group of internet based application through which individuals, groups, governments or other entities share pictures, videos, music, send messages, and email to each other. Consequently, those features helped to overcome the limitation of other media and dearth of media content diversity encountered citizens to blog, chat, and use other user generated contents. For the reason of its quality, simplicity, immediacy and other unique feature it composes, people prefer it. Actually, becoming more superior compared to other media channels.

The need for better way of living within advanced information and communication technology incited the society to look for vital information. Where those information are about their country as well as phenomenon happening worldwide. So to fulfill the need of its citizen, Ethiopian internet service provider Ethiotelecom is working hard by allocating huge resources. This support to realize the goals targeted on GTP.

Particularly, social Medias like Facebook, YouTube, twitter and Skype are widely used in the country. Others like Gmail, Yahoo mail, online news of different stations, online newspapers, and online magazines are also popular, but not for youths as previously mentioned sites. Majority of users are youngsters where they support or oppose ideas, post images and videos implying diverse issues which allow them to express their feeling (emotion). By realizing its significant advantage plus mind-blowing nature, non-government institutions such as Banks and government institutions are using web based sites to address their services, to render their services and to get comment on the services they provide. In addition, to inform its citizens regarding new technologies. For instance, as reported by Addis Fortune “The Ethiopian Revenues & Customs Authority (ERCA) introduced a web-based customs valuation database, replacing its previous CD-based valuation for the price of commodities”. Generally, issues related to social, economic and political condition of the country are started to be addressed to the people in recent years by means of the above listed social Medias.

Importance of social media channels to the Ethiopians was very significant. First of all, information on social media are fresh or on time. In their characteristics social Medias are the best in supplying information quickly. This means that you are not forced to wait an hour to listen to news if you missed it. Secondly, to be informed about phenomenon that happens worldwide through pictures or videos which are not maybe reported on TV because of age consideration or disturbing images. Thirdly, it also used for promotion purpose. Companies advertise the services they render and products they produced to the vast users through those internet based apps. Now a days social Medias are becoming suitable destination for advertising entities to catch the eye of intermediate and ultimate customers. Prominent social Medias generate large amount of revenue from advertising products of organization ranging from small ones to the multinational organizations.

To sum up, while the core beneficiaries are citizens, social Medias facilitated knowledge transfer from generation to generation. Still Ethiopian government is working hard to satisfy the thirst of its nation by implementing advanced information and communication technology directing attention mainly to internet and mobile services by provision of vital knowledge source for strengthening development and growth line the state has taken so far.” – Ashebir Nigussie – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Learner’s Submission: Role of Social Media in India

13/03/2015

“An informal survey conducted by the National Innovation Council (NInC) showed that among the 50 respondents (under30 demographic, working professionals) only 8% knew that the 12th Five Year Plan has been unveiled1. The planning commission (now NITI AYOG), realizing the need for better communication and decided to begin with social media in march 2013. To harness the opportunity of social media, Government of India had organized Hackathons on the 12th Five Year Plan. In addition, The Commissionerate of Municipal Administration, Tamil Nadu and ThoughtWorks organized the first CMA Hackathon –Code for Urban Governance on Dec 14 and 15, 2014 and 5 key themes of the Hackathon were education, health, sanitation, birth and death registration, and roads2. Two press conferences were carried out by government of India via twitter for better communication with journalist, student and people3. In another development, President of India and Prime Minister Office make facebook and twitter account, goes on social media to give update about their activities. Most of the ministries and other government offices are being linked to social media, gradually. In a marvelous step, Ministry of External Affairs has initiated Indian Diplomacy page on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media sites to foster a greater understanding of India and its foreign policy concerns4 and, also divulge its presence on social media to update their followers about Indian Foreign Policy viz. visits of the foreign diplomats and overseas visits of the Indian diplomats. Asia and world have 34.7% and 42.3% internet penetration respectively5. To exploit this resource, High commissioners and consulate generals of India have also been linked to social media to reach out the citizens of their respective niche, to introduce with fabulous Indian culture, heritage and political system. Tourism ministry has also launched its social media campaign about Incredible India to allure the tourist and trap the tourism economy.

National broadcaster Prasar Bharti has launched real time update about programs and news through social media. It has also started blogs to bring the innovative ideas on to one platform and Prasar Bharti had managed to live broadcast of Republic Day Parade on Youtube to provide real time streaming. Further, to provide holistic update about government initiation, India portal has also been linked to different social media channels. Army, Navy, Air force, Paramilitary forces and, states police have also launched their facebook page and social media campaign to engage with civilians, aware and trap young intelligent mind to nurture the nation and check the crimes as well. State Governments has also used this communication medium to provide good governance in their respective states for eg. NCT Delhi has started Facebook page to check corrupt practices in Public Distribution system. Basic unit of Indian Civil Services DM and civil servants are also linked to social media, for eg. Facebook account of DM, Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh.

NPTEL- National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning6, funded by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, is a massive online open courses which provides comprehensive knowledge and opportunity to citizen of all age group to nurture their intelligence. Along with this, Community Participation is the key feature of this program. Social media has been used remarkably as Google Hangouts for discussion and for communication with instructor, YouTube is the official partner which provide online videos.

Open Government Data- OGD is a platform for supporting Open Data initiative of Government of India. The portal is intended to be used by Government of India Ministries/ Departments their organizations to publish datasets, documents, services, tools and applications collected by them for public use. Open Government Data Platform India has singificant module as Communities – Module for community users to interact and share their zeal and views with others, who share common interests as that of theirs. For eg. Agriculture community, health community, developer community7.

MyGov(Good Governance with your Partnership)-8 On 26 July 2014, the Hon`ble Prime Minister of India launched MyGov- a platform for citizen engagement for good governance, which presents a wonderful opportunity for citizens, experts and government authorities to collectively achieve the Surajya. MyGov welcomes government institutions to collaborate with citizens through this platform. Institutions can form or create interest groups based on various causes and initiatives taken in each sector the government. Within each group, discussions on relevant and significant topics can be initiated. The discussions can help government institutions understand viewpoints of citizens and gather feedback on policy. 1st MyGov Samvaad had been organized on 29 Nov, 2014. A Group on Digital India was created on MyGov to take inputs from users on critical topics.

Social media is a globe of opportunities, it depends on ourself, how would we tackle it? Indian Government has initiated so many programmes but still, we have to go a long distance. We have to change our mindset to achieve the MDG through use of ICT and, social media can play a significant role in it. It is a strong medium which can influence a mass collectively. If we use it in a constructive manner, definitely it will be fruitful and prosperous. I hope through this government make India a prosperous and leading country in the world.” – Saurabh Yadav – Uttar Pradesh, India

References:

Yojana May, 2013 ISSN-0971-8400
data.gov.in
Yojana May, 2013 ISSN-0971-8400
facebook.com/indiandiplomacy
Internetworldstats.com/stats3.htm
nptel.ac.in
data.gov.in
mygov.in


Learner’s Submission: Social Media Channels Used by Nigerian Government

11/02/2015

“INTRODUCTION

Social media is an instrument or channel of communication between two or more person irrespective of location. Social media is not in totality social network but more than that/ it is also social bookmarking, social news, social photo and video sharing and social networking which is in error used interchangeably with social media.

Basically any website that invites you to interact with the site which also has visitors /interactors falls into the category of social media.

MY GOVERNMENT

I am a Nigerian, Nigeria is located in West Africa, and it is a country divided into 36regions refer to as states. It has a population of approximately 180,000,000 person. The government uses several social media channels, but the frequently used ones are Facebook, twitter, hi5, YouTube, LinkedIn.

FACEBOOK

Facebook is a social networking website were connecting with family and friends alike is made possible. The government uses Facebook to gain recognition and publicity on it corporate duties, product and services. Facebook is very important because it has a wide range of users, unlike the email which is more private, Facebook has less private audience as posts are usually viewed by more people. A user can view a post in a discussion even if he or she is not participating in the ongoing discussion as long as one has connection with either or both party known as friendship.

Facebook is also important to the government as the government uses it to publicize recruitment opportunity as well as aptitude test venue and time. The government also use Facebook to publicize their current activities as well as achievements. What makes Facebook important also is that people can respond to any information received and also make inquiries on issues that they may not be clear on.

The privacy or audience requirement; Facebook require acceptance of friend request sent and needs approval before connections can be approved, Facebook usage cut across professional academic and age limit so far the user is an adult; it does not matter if one in 18 or 80 in essence it has a large coverage of users gen y’ers and baby boomers alike. In my personal opinion I consider Facebook the most used or has the largest audience of the available social networks of social media.

TWITTER

Twitter is a short messaging platform, were user post messages which are called tweets, these tweets have a limited character allowed which make users to send several tweets at a time to allow for a communication to be made.  The government utilizes this website to give update on events, recruitment opportunity, and aptitude test etc.

Twitter is important as most smartphone users are on the twitter. Twitter connections are more public than the Facebook as Facebook require acceptance of friend request sent needs approval before connections can be approved, anyone is allowed to “follow”  on tweeter and anyone one chooses.

Another importance of the twitter is that the tweets i.e. the post or sent messages are delivered in good time which make information to be possibly utilized and acted upon in good and within the relevant period of time. These tweets once posted on tweeter website though may not be seen always are permanent because they are saved on the website which means they are searchable, one can thus say it’s a means of message storage. The usage of tweeter in my opinion is limited to a younger population (gen x’ers and y’ers) and not as much users as the Facebook.

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn is a type professional connection; it connect people in the area of their occupation.  These platform can avail information, ideas persons and services of relevance to the needful persons, these medium is important as government organization or agencies can utilize these platform to acquire and make placement according to professional relevance and qualifications.

YOUTUBE

YouTube is a video sharing website which allows people to watch and share created videos. Government organization share originally created videos from their activities, events or training to enlighten users. This plat form is important as the saying goes “seeing is believing” users will have a clear understanding as the information will be viewed practically.” – Bulus Patience H. – Minna, Nigeria


Learner’s Submission: Social Media Channels Used by Nigerian Government

04/02/2015

“My Government here in Nigeria has adopted the use of few out of the many Social media channels. Listed below are some of the list as much as I can figure out.

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. LinkedIn

In my opinion, I will analyze why they are important as thus.

FACEBOOK: Most government organizations now want to have more recognition and online presence. This is aside the Official Websites of such Organization. So Facebook becomes one of the major Social Media channel used by my government.

I consider Facebook important because of its feature that PROMOTES pages and SPONSORS posts. With this feature Facebook helps user to reach more audience and define the range of the audience to be reached.

This means also made it possible for feedbacks. FEEDBACK is a major thing to consider in any organization, body or agency. Facebook, makes the presence organization available to as many as will like the page or follow the page as the case may be.

Freedom of Information and speech is seen to be widely utilized by the followers of each page owner. It makes the Government evaluate the value of service provided by her body. It also provides the easiest way to reach the grassroots through this medium. There won’t be need to schedule any visit and meet up with the official demands to reach the governments.

This ultimately boost the online presence of government in my location here

TWITTER: Twitter has become another important social media by my government here. Its important because of the major function which is to send a short message which could be a news update or the latest information relating to the government. Larger percentage of the citizen here are actively functional on either Twitter or Facebook or both as the case may be. And the depth of networking provided by Twitter has made it important for the government. Especially in the case of election as it is the current occurrence in my country.

Each Presidential candidates made it a platform to deliver their manifestos. Individual’s agenda are propagated and each follower could rebroadcast it.

The networking involved bridge the gap in communication as seen in the course, Strategic Intelligence

LinkedIn: though I will personally say that my government has not fully migrated to this platform, but with the little percentage usage I observed as I believe is an opportunity to see the network of professionals career-wise and it quickly give information from the profile of the persons in the network.

Organization can thereby see through the networks of persons whose really inclined in adding service to the agencies belonging to the government. This platform also provides wide range of Job opportunity to millions of jobless individual and give a quick link to the latest available Job.

Conclusively, this platforms has been able to minimize the gap between the generations in the government of my country. A typical example of one of my country’s presidential candidate whose age is over 70years but still winning the heart of the youths, the Generation Y’er. To me this is a great importance.” – Oni Odunayo Johnson – Minna, Nigeria


Learner’s Submission: Social Media Channels Used by the Federal Government of Nigeria

24/12/2014

“It has to be admitted that the advent of Social Media in Nigeria was not well received at first. It was grossly underestimated and generally regarded as “gossip platforms”. But time moves fast and it changes a lot of things in the process. That era has now gone, and a new era has been ushered in. In this new era, virtually everyone now understands the importance of Social Media in the 21st Century. Social Media, without a doubt, has become the news source of numerous Nigerians, so much so that traditional news contents are often stale and are gradually losing their usual value. People no longer depend on traditional news sources to get the latest news in the country, thanks to Citizen Journalism on various Social Media platforms.

And so, upon realising the importance and the increasing influence of the Social Media, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, on May 15th, 2010, opened a Facebook page. He then followed that with the release of a 357-page book with the title: ‘My Friends And I – Conversations On Policy And Governance Via Facebook’. The book is a documentation of conversations between the President and Nigerian citizens, seeking feedback, and engaging Nigerians at home and abroad in what turned out to be a quality dialogue on Nigeria’s development process. CNN reportedly tag him ‘The Facebook President.

The page is consistently updated with government activities and news; and if, for instance, one missed the President’s speech, the President’s official Facebook page becomes his next resort. Media houses also keep tab on the page as part of their duties to keep members of the public informed about happenings in government.

Also, in September of 2014, the Nigerian Custom Service (NCS) launched its official Facebook and Twitter pages. The Daily Post wrote thus:

‘Customs authorities said they recognise the importance of Social Media platforms, their influence on international trade and as such were poised to meet their stakeholders on popular platforms to share information that will facilitate trade and boost the economy.’

With the above analysis, one can see that the importance of Social Media to the Nigerian Government cannot be over-emphasised. This is because the average Nigerian uses internet enable mobile phone, and are equally registered on various Social Media platforms. It follows then that the easiest way of reaching such a people is via the Social Media where feedback is instant!” – Elias Ozikpu – Lagos, Nigeria


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