The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, has urged Nigerian youth to leverage on the opportunities provided by a digital economy for national development.
He stated this at the 2021 National ICT and Social Media Summit, organized by the National Youth Council of Nigeria, (NYCN), with the theme: “ICT: Use of Social Media for National Integration and Development”, Thursday in Abuja.
NITDA DG added that Nigeria cannot afford to stay behind a fast growing technological world, noting that a digital economy will provide Nigeria vast opportunities that would not only promote national development and nation building, but also put the nation at the front burner of a digital driven economy.
He said: “The world is changing, and it is characterized by how we live in an increasingly capable system. In the history of mankind it is in this time we have systems doing what only humans can do in terms of making decisions and been creative.
“Today we have systems that are more intelligent than us, that can do more than what we can do. So what can we do? Are we to compete with them? Or are we to augment and use them for our benefit? We talk about social media, which is one of them.
“Today social media is leveraging on our weakest points. social media is driven by an algorithm, the algorithm was designed to learn about us, predict what we are going to do and even tell us what to do, that means it is taking advantage of our psychology.
“We need to know how to live with this system. Secondly, there are increasingly integrated technology, what we should look at is how to harness these platforms to grow the economy and promote nation-building.”
“We crafted a strategic roadmap and action plan 2021-2024 and the strategy is anchored on certain strategic pillars. The first is capacity building. When we say capacity building we are talking about the digital economy.
Delivering his goodwill message, Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who was represented by Acting Director, Network and Social Mobilisation, Hajia Amina Dauran said the NYCN by the National Youth Policy complements the Ministry’s efforts and federal governments efforts.
He cautioned the populace against using social media to bring strife and disunity, but instead, they should use it to promote unity and tranquillity.
“Social media helps to facilitate the sharing of ideas and has had a positive impact in the society, therefore making it an essential part of modern life.
“The ministry will continue to advocate for constructive use of the social media for social integration and nation-building. I plead with the Nigerian youth to make good use of social media as a tool for promoting peace and unity,” he said.
In his remarks, National Organizing Secretary of NYCN, Comrade Abdulrahman Olawale Zakariyau urges youths across the country to use social media platforms to promote unity and progress in Nigeria.
He said: ” We are all aware that social is like two sides of a coin it can make or mar a nation. Over the years we have seen how some people, especially youths abuse these platforms. We must stop that, the social media platforms should be used to promote national integration and development issues”.