Nigeria’s government is creating a digital engagement policy

Tolu Ogunlesi (PODE), Akua Gyeke (Facebook) and ‘Gbenga Sesan (Paradigm Initiative) Image via: PIN

Since the current administration began on May 29, 2015, there seems to be an interest in using digital/social media tools for engagement within government agencies, although its use lacks consistency and mostly without any clear objective.

During a roundtable discussion on digital rights and digital engagement organised by Paradigm Initiative on February 22 in Lagos, Tolu Ogunlesi, the Head of Presidency Office of Digital Engagement (PODE) maintained that effective digital engagement by government agencies remains a big priority for the Federal Government because of its immense potential.

Ogunlesi, who led the conversation on a proposed Digital Engagement Policy for Federal Government, said that his office was working hard on creating digital engagement standards that would guide all government offices in their use of digital tools to ensure effective communication with the public.

“There is currently no social media policy for the Federal Government. This is understandable as social media use is relatively new in government circle. But this situation has led to inconsistency in the way government offices use digital media. We are currently working on creating a digital engagement policy for the Federal Government. It will provide guidelines on platforms to use, accounts administration, logo and naming standard, editorial policies, archival system, content process and management, among other things”.

Ogunlesi didn’t say why it has taken the government about three years to begin working on formulating a policy to guide its use of social media. Also, he didn’t provide a timeframe when the policy would be ready for implementation.

While it is uncertain whether or not this current administration would remain come May 2019, it would be interesting to see what impact a digital engagement policy for the government would have before the February 2019 general elections.