Why Nigerians Are the Most Active Africans on Social Media


Reports from Internet World Statistics reveal that over 93 million Nigerians use the internet, a huge percentage of that number engage daily social media on a daily basis.

Social media has gained so much popularity over the years as more and more Africans have embraced it, especially Nigerians.

Historically, from the days of 2go, MySpace, Friendster, and Nairaland to the more recent Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp craze, Nigerians have always been keen connectors on social networks.

Across all the different social media, Nigerians tops as the most active in Africa.

Let me share with you, some of the reasons Nigerians spend more time on social media than other Africans

High Internet Penetration Rate

One factor that may be primarily responsible for a significant number of Nigerians being active on social media is the country’s high internet penetration rate.

According to the industry regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission, internet penetration stands at 22 percent.

Arguably, at least one out of two Nigerians make use of the internet on a daily basis. By implication, Nigerians have access to surf the internet and signing up on social media to connect and engage.

Relatively Low Internet Connectivity Cost

Compared to other African countries, the cost of consuming bandwidth is relatively low following the emergence of different players in the industry. These players compete to acquire subscribers, and that has contributed to the price of data in Nigeria.

Telecom operators roll out different plans which the average Nigerian finds affordable, with this access, it has become easy for Nigerians to purchase bandwidth.


Facebook data says 37% of Nigerians depend on social media for daily news. This is apparently as a result of curiosity and the quest for information.

These factors drive a lot of Nigerians to utilize social media more often. Most of the brands, media houses, entertainers, and celebrities share useful, informative, entertaining content.

The number of hours spent on social media by the average Nigerian is astonishing.

Social Engagement and Civil Advocacy

The Nigerian society is a politically active one engaging a lot of Nigerians in different social engagements and citizen advocacy.

Several noteworthy political, as well as civic advocacy movements have been made with the use of social media in recent years. One of such advocacy campaigns is the #BringBackOurGirls campaign in 2015.

The fact remains that the average Nigerian has a voice and wants to be heard and social media has provided the leverage to enable that to happen efficiently.

Social media has empowered individuals and even brands to elicit strong influence and amplify their voices nationwide and even beyond the shores of Africa with little enablers such as retweets and shares.



Role of social media in economic, political and social development of Nigeria

It is my privilege and honour to give the give the keynote speech at the maiden edition of CKN News Annual Lecture which thematic focus requires us to reflect on the role of the social media in the social, economic and political development of Nigeria.

As a global phenomenon and platform for knowledge, information and person to group communications, the social media has come to shape our lives in very fascinating and remarkable ways.

Scholars (Lasswell 1927; Field 1991; Klapper 1960; Cantril 2005) have demonstrated in varying degrees the power the media could exercise upon the individual and society. More recently, Castells (2010; 2012), Mutsvairo (2016), and Jenkins et al (2016) have also shown both the utilitarian purposes as well as changing nature of social media power, particularly when they are deployed in certain contexts in combination with other media.

The social media in particular has come to represent the perfect example of the democratisation of information and technology with demonstrable capacity to migrate communication to interactive dialogue, and social activation. This is greatly evident all around the world with regards to its use for campaigns and enlightenment by political parties.

Socially, we are all witnesses to the volume of information shared on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Blackberry Messenger and Instagram, to mention just a few among several social media networks through which Nigerians interact , obtain information to meet their social needs to shape their behaviours and enrich the quality of lives. Over 16million Nigerians are on the Facebook, the highest in Africa, making Nigerians the most active users in the Continent.

On the economic front, the Social Media has become a market place of ideas and creativity. Products and services are sold online, thus providing opportunity for start-ups to commence businesses on a small scale. Many Nigerians, like citizens of other nations, have honed amazing entrepreneurial skills to make a living through opportunities provided by social media platforms, and have equally become employers of labour. Huge financial transactions have been conducted by individuals and organizations online. Banking transactions such as online deposits and transfers, have made financial transactions easier. In the past it was difficult to travel without physically going to transporting and tourism organizations to make booking and other logistics.

The Country’s E-Commerce space is growing tremendously,  companies such as Yudala, Jumia, Konga and Jiji to mention just a few,  are online Malls recording huge patronage by online customers. Also, the trove of information exchanged through social media by individuals, groups and institutions has impacted on all spheres notably; e-education, e-health, e-agriculture, crime prevention, and safety.

Politically, people have latched on opportunities provided by the social media to exercise their rights to free speech, to interact with their representatives, and  make constructive contributions to the political process in ways that were unimaginable just a decade ago. As an Organization , NCC is elated at this development. The protection of rights is a value that should be cherished by all individuals and institutions.

In pursuance of citizens engagement, the Management of NCC declared 2017 as the Year of the Nigerian Telecom Consumer. The central purpose is to extend the frontiers of our engagement with stakeholders, particularly the consumer that constitute the lifeblood of the telecom industry. In doing so, we are recreating platforms for conversation that will offer more information and education to the consumer to tackle challenges experienced as subscribers to telecom services, and by that, underscoring our resolve to protect the consumer against infractions by service providers. The consumers-NCC engagement also enables the Commission get feedback and suggestions that enriches our regulatory role and interventions in the industry .

Suffice it to say that in driving this programme, we have also deployed the social media to extend our reach and engagement. It stands to reason therefore, that NCC as a public sector organization, recognizes the value of social media networks in the society and its power to disseminate information on real time basis globally.  We appreciate  the importance of data as a key resource in knowledge-management. This explains our decision at the Nigerian Communications Commission to enhance our strategic activities in the facilitation of broadband deployment in accordance with the vision of the National Broadband Plan.

Accordingly, to make data available for all persons in Nigeria to access the internet and participate in the emergent digital economy, the Commission has conducted the auction of the 2.3GHz and the 2.1GHz spectrums. Some slots in the 2.6 GHz has also been licensed and the 800MHz is being re-planned for LTE services. All these are frequencies that will guarantee a robust access the internet thereby empowering citizens to utilize the social media networks.

In addition, in view of our technology neutrality stance, the Management of the Commission is also re-farming older frequencies held by operators to be used for data services. NCC has considered giving operators the liberty to deploy spectrum resources allocated optimally by utilizing Next generation technologies available in the global market.

Two licenses have been issued to Infrastructure Companies (Infracos), to  hasten deployment of fibre Optic infrastructure in Lagos and the North Central Region of the country. The remains licenses for other regions are being prepare for licensing before the end of the year. This is one of our strategies for facilitating broadband deployment. The Infraco licensing will attract necessary investments in infrastructure to ensure support for the data segment and to ensure services are offered based on objective prevailing prices.

The Commission is also engaging our stakeholders such as the State Governors under the auspices of Nigeria Governors Forum, and also individually as State Chief Executives to ensure permits are granted to operators to deploy infrastructure. Service providers have been discouraged by exorbitant levies and other bottlenecks in the States. So, we are persuading State Governments to see the long term benefits of data availability and its connection to economic growth over and above immediate gratification of more revenue.

The protection of infrastructure has also been a matter of concern to NCC. Hence, we are consciously in the vanguard of advocacy for the declaration of certain infrastructure as critical national assets. This is one reason we are pushing for a speedy passage of the National Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill by the National Assembly. The passage of the Bill is expected to reduce vandalism and theft of equipment and facilities to enable us to address a critical challenge to data availability and quality of consumer experience.

In conclusion, although NCC adopts technology-neutrality regime in it role, and will therefore not regulate social media use, we nevertheless use our moral authority to request that Nigerians take advantage of the social media platforms to exchange information and participate in the political, social and economic processes of our country in ways that promote peace and enable us to build a more united and prosperous nation. The Cybercrimes Act 2015 already defines offences in this sphere and stipulates punishments for breaches, as a responsible institution, We encourage a responsible and ethical use of the Social Media for the good of all and the development of our Country. On that note, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. I wish you very fruitful and rewarding deliberation.



Oja Oba: Here, royalty meets commerce

In the Yoruba community of South West Nigeria, farming and commercial activities have been a major source of sustenance since the ancient times and there exists a variety of local markets but for them, the community is not complete without a market near the palace. YEJIDE GBENGA-OGUNDARE explores the cultural, economic and religious reasons for this. Her report. 


The market institution has been an integral part of the Yoruba community and custom since time immemorial; even before the advent of money, when trading was done through barter and goods were sold on the path to the farm or in front of houses because there were no spaces set aside for marketing activities aside pathways and other sites that are thoroughfare for the people in the settlements.

Since this period, markets bacame mainstay of the Yoruba community as majority were farmers who could not eat their produce alone and had to exchange some for other commodities and services. And with the introduction of money into the economy and creation of permanent sites for marketing activities, the markets became more integral to every community.

The markets were not only the economic sustenance tools but they became the centre for information dissemination, town meetings, religious and political gatherings as well as social engagements. And consequently, specific days were set aside for  market functions, making the periodic market the first to evolve within the Yoruba society; though the exact period it started cannot be easily traced in history.

History states that the periodic markets started when exchange of goods required a mutually convenient time and place and parties had to travel to a common place to trade and the importance of traders and consumers knowing where to meet became pronounced. Also, at this period, the periodic markets were sited very near the palace, which is the seat of power, or in front of it and this act is said to be very symbolic in the Yoruba community to the extent that every palace in Yoruba town has a market near it called Oja Oba meaning the king’s market.

This is based on popular belief that the king is the overseer of the economic activities of his people and consequently the market which is the mainstay of the community. After a while, daily markets sprouted up and now, the Yoruba people have diverse types of markets; the daily markets which the Oja Oba is a part of and is found in urban areas and larger towns, the night market, the rural night market, special markets and the rural periodic day markets.

Daily markets can run both at day and in the night and are scattered across towns and cities, periodic markets are mostly rural and run on specific days of the week or at regular days interval, the rural periodic is one where people come from various settlements on stipulated days interval and does not exist outside these days, special markets often take place at annual festivals and not after such events while night markets usually hold at the daily market sites but run from dusk to almost midnight.

The distribution of market from one location to another across towns and cities have been said to show little or no correlation to distribution of population or any other factor but experts and historians have stated that situating markets near the Palace in the Yoruba community of South-West Nigeria has more to do with security though the supervisory aspect by the king is not overridden.

According to them, since time immemorial, markets are situated near the palace so that the security of the king will easily extend to the people and also to protect them from attacks by other communities and vigilante or militant groups that use the porosity and relaxed aura of the market to perpetrate evil and steal at gun point.

Also, because wherever there are business activities and many people with diverse beliefs gather together in a place, there is bound to be disagreements and the situation of the market near the palace makes it easy for dispute resolution as the king who oversees the community and adjudicate in cases is nearer to them.



Three-year countdown to Expo 2020 Dubai begins



The three-year countdown to Expo 2020 Dubai officially began on Friday night in Jumeirah, giving residents and visitors a glimpse of what would happen once the world converges on Dubai for the important global gathering.

The UAE will host the Expo 2020 in Dubai with the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ beginning October 20, 2020.



A special ceremony on stage was marked at 20:20 or 8.20pm on Friday to celebrate the remaining three years before the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai.

During the event on Friday, Expo 2020’s Expo Live team also offered visitors a preview of an upcoming initiative: the Innovation Challenge Programme.

The family-friendly event was open to people of all ages and backgrounds, which mirrors what an Expo is like — a gathering for everyone. The day included numerous attractions, a fitness challenge, live local and international music and entertainment, a variety of food and drinks, plus a chance to learn more about Expo 2020 Dubai itself.


The Three Years to Go celebration featured an array of Expo-themed activities, many of which were based on innovations first showcased at previous World Expos such as television, the gramophone, telephones and ice cream cones.

Expo 2020 Dubai will be a celebration of human ingenuity around the theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, built on three pillars: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

It will serve as a platform for international collaboration, fostering innovation and creating meaningful partnerships that will live far beyond 2020 — not only for the UAE, but for the wider region and the world.

The Expo is projected to attract 25 million visitors, with 70 per cent expected to come from outside the UAE — the largest proportion of international visitors in the 166-year history of World Expos.

More than 200 participants, including countries, companies, NGOs and educational institutions, are also expected to participate.

During the event, Expo organisers also marked the day of launch of the official volunteer registration portal for Expo 2020 Dubai, which has been set up in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development. The portal went live on Friday.

More than 30,000 adult volunteers are needed to be the ‘face’ of the largest global gathering happening for the first time in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.

“Expo 2020 is a global event for everyone to learn, innovate, create, and have fun by sharing ideas and working together and we are proud to include opportunities for more than 30,000 volunteers from any age, nationality or background, reflecting the diversity of our Expo and our nation,” Reem Ebrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau, said last week.

Residents interested to volunteer may visit http://www.volunteers.ae/expo2020, email Volunteers@expo2020.ae or call 04 555 2244.