The social media has been described as an imperative for achieving transparency and accountability in governance towards open governance. This assertion was made by Chioma Agwuegbo, a social media expert and program manager at the West Africa hub of Reboot, a social impact firm dedicated to inclusive development and accountable governance.
Agwuegbo was speaking at a roundtable discussion on the use of social media for improved citizens’ participation in budget processes organized by the DFID-funded Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) programme, Wednesday in Kano, Nigeria.
She described social media as “a way of life. People are expressing their views on it, the agitation for Biafra is happening on the social media; Boko Haram and ISIS are also telling their stories via social media. So, any government that doesn’t key into the opportunity it provides is doing itself a great disservice.”
Speaking about the role of ICTs and social media in citizens engagement, Rufai Isah, Reboot’s research consultant said their findings had revealed local activists in Kano were using ICTs and social media platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp as tools for advocacy and the Kano government was leveraging ICTs and social media to keep its citizens informed, as well.
Jibrin Giginyu, PERL-ECP’s team lead in Kano said the partnership between government and non-government actors was key in ensuring transparent , open, inclusive and accountable governance adding that it could only be achieved if there was “constructive engagement between the duo at all times devoid of suspicion, distrust and conflict”.