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Tackle high cost of data, panelists urge government at Social Media Week

By Adeyemi Adepetun   |   28 February 2017   |   4:40 am  

Director, Public Policy Africa, Facebook, Ebele Okobi (left); Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox and Vice President, Partnership, Ime Achibong at the Media Roundtable during the Social Media Week 2017 in Lagos…yesterday.   PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Facebook, with 8.6m Nigerians, now accepts naira payment

High cost of data services and lack of infrastructure have been identified as two major challenges hindering content creation in Nigeria. These challenges, according to the panelists at the first day of the 2017 Social Media Week (SMW) in Lagos, yesterday, required urgent regulatory intervention.

While those challenges persist, content creators have been urged to defy them and tell the Nigerian stories online in a modest way. Meanwhile, Facebook has revealed that about 8.6 million people in Nigeria use the social media platform (Facebook) on mobile daily, adding that 95 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are now on Facebook.

According to the Client Service and Strategy Director, Ventra Media, Tomiwa Aladekomo, there is need to be creative in our story telling “if we are to project Nigeria and indeed the African brand positively to the world.”

Aladekomo, a panelist, said live video was the next step in content creation and development, stressing that people must be allowed to develop and discover contents that are applicable to their situation.

He stressed that live streaming can transform Nigeria’s media landscape if adequately explored and invested in. It is however, still hugely challenged by high data cost and poor infrastructure in Nigeria.

Stressing the need for media to build the right team, experiment and put context to stories, Aladekomo observed that publishers should be concerned about creating reliable content and strategies.

To film maker and Creative Director, Ndani TV, Jadesola Oshiberu, mobiles, especially the smartphones are turning people to global reporters, stressing that live video and streaming helps pass the African message or story across.

In her submission, Nigerian Food and Lifestyle Blogger, Yemisi Odusanya (Sisi Yemmie), affordable data is crucial to getting live streaming work in Nigeria to be able to sell “our stories to global audience.”

The Chief Product Officer, Facebook, Chris Cox, highlighted Nigeria’s status as a hub for innovation and creativity because of its fast-growing mobile technology sector and its vibrant film and music industries.

When Mark Zuckerberg visited Nigeria, one of the requests he heard was for businesses to be able to pay for advertising and other services in naira. In response, Cox said Facebook has started accepting locally issued Nigerian naira cards from new advertisers for payments on its ads platform.

“With 8.6 million people in Nigeria using Facebook on mobile every day, Facebook is a great place for businesses to reach their customers and market their products and services.

Meanwhile, from March 8, Facebook will kick off Boost Your Business, a series of free training sessions designed to help thousands of Nigerian small business owners understand how to leverage digital platforms for growth.

The sessions will be facilitated by trainers led by She Leads Africa in key cities including Lagos, Kaduna, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan.



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