Lagos – Mr Tom Obey, the Information Communication Technology consultant of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has urged Nigerians to embrace the use of social media platforms to prevent disasters in the country.
Obey said this during the Social Media Week programme held in Lagos.
In his presentation titled `NEMA and Social Media: How to Use Media Platforms for Disaster Management’, he said there was need for the public to use such platforms in fighting disaster.
Obey defined social platform as the use of new media for social interactions which include networking sites such as facebook, twitter, flickr and linkedln.
He observed that more than five million Nigerians used the most popular site — `Facebook’ — to post pictures, communicate and update their status daily.
“There is great potential for social media to provide real-time status of the situation on ground during a disaster or incident and could also be used to alert first responders in advance of any incident.
“We want to promote and create awareness on the effective use of the social media to assist the government in mitigating disaster in the country.
“We found out that social media platforms are good tools in aid of disaster management especially facebook and twitter are important platforms in elevating disaster.
“The Social Media Week in Lagos is one of the events that tries to emphasise the importance of social platforms.”
According to him, Lagos is one of the 10 countries in the world that holds social media week to create awareness on the importance of social media platforms.
He said the social media could be effectively used to get attention, spread the news, get feedback, provide support and organise a strong work force.
He said that the social media assisted NEMA to get quick information and feedback of any incident for immediate response.
He further urged other government and private organisations to get involved in the social media platform for quick accessibility and for solving urgent issues which might involve lives and property.
Some of the participants at the event, commended the efforts of NEMA in providing simple ways of obtaining information during emergencies.
Miss Ngozi Okoye, a secretary, encouraged companies and other official outfits in the country to embrace the social media culture for easy communication within or outside the working arena.
“All government offices in the country should embrace the social media networking system for easy communication and solving problems outside the office premises; it is very encouraging,’’ she said.
Mr Patrick Omoniyi, a lecturer, said that the social media should be extended to other areas such as health, crime and other sector for prompt services.
Omoniyi called on the communication industry to improve on the ICT in the country, to enable the public to enjoy free services such as WiFi, for quick report of emergencies, crimes or disasters. (NAN)