Stakeholders in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector on Tuesday in Abuja, urged youths to cultivate the habit of using social media to promote Nigeria’s image positively.
They made the call at a National Social Media Retreat, organised by the Federal Ministry of Communications.
The theme of the retreat is: “Social Media for Good Governance”.
They described the social media as not only as a veritable platform to socialise with people, but also as a tool to project the country in a positive light.
Mr Olusegun Shogbola, Principal Data Processing Officer in the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, called on social media handlers to remain proactive and cautious of contents they put out.
While condemning the rate of fake news circulating in the country due to unregulated use of social media platforms, Shogbola called for caution in the censoring of such platforms, noting that it could have negative effects on the society.
He, however, urged social media handlers to always verify the sources of their information; as well as the content, in order to avoid misleading the public.
Dr Jobi Adewoye, Representative of Noble Amber Mobile Group, Canada said that rather than engage in social media to gossip, people can use it to advertise their products and services.
According to him, an average Nigerian has two phones but most times uses less than 2 per cent of the value of the phones.
“People go to the social media to gossip instead of understanding that it is a market place.
“Unfortunately as youths we tend to trend things that are negative.
“Rather than trying to use the social media to turn words into bullets, we should see it as a platform to share values.
“People who are unemployed can leverage on the social media to create jobs, exchange good ideas and share values.
“Let us begin to think of what to do and how we can share same using the social media,” Adewoye said.
On her part, Miss Kylie Nneoma, a Researcher expressed confidence that the social media space was a veritable tool to engage in meaningful ventures.
She, however, advocated policies that would check mate negative use of the social media in order to stem the increasing spread of fake news in the country.
“The social media has come to stay and we must find a way to allow it work together with the traditional media.
“This will allow for greater interaction between government policies and activities and the citizens,” Nneoma said.
Mr Joseph Ibekwe, a journalist, urged youths to create blogs and use the space for positive interactions rather than engage in hate speech.