The Director General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Major General Shuaib Ibrahim is of the opinion that a strategic partnership between NYSC and NITDA will bring about a significant drop in the number of Fake News that pervades our social media in Nigeria. “Strengthening this partnership would assist the NYSC to overcome some of the menaces it is facing especially on checkmating the spread of fake news on social media”. The NYSC DG made this remark during a courtesy call on his counterpart at the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

He also appeals to DG NITDA to replicate, at the NYSC Headquarters in all the states of the federation, the Information and Communication Technology Centre it established at the Federal Capital Territory Secretariat in order to further strengthen the ICT platform for Corp members across the country. He further said, “I want NITDA to graciously consider other secretariats for such opportunity given to FCT secretariat”, he said.

He recalled that NITDA and NYSC have a long-standing relationship that was dated back to when Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami was the Director General of the Agency stating that he wishes to strengthen the collaborations that existed between both organizations.

General Ibrahim noted while citing an example with the story of a JSS2 student alleged to have impregnated a Corp member, the NYSC DG described the abuse of social media as worrisome and appealed to NITDA to stem the tide. He added that “Something has to be done to checkmate the menace of social media to save us from various embarrassments”.

Things that have happened in the past are now being put forward on social media to look like recent events. People are using the platforms to defraud unsuspecting members of the public. “You can imagine people creating accounts to defraud Corp member that they can help them to be redeployed”, he exclaimed. He called for the arrest of such people to serve as deterrents to others so as to reduce the menace.

While responding to the NYSC’s requests, the NITDA Director General, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, assured that NITDA would look into the requests and start the intervention this year. He noted that the Agency has done a lot in building the capacity of Corp members serving in the Agency but; “we can expand it to cover the FCT as a pilot project” he said.

He stated that it is pertinent for the agencies of government to partner together in helping to build the skills of the Corp members because “what most Corp members have is the knowledge and we need to help them in transforming the knowledge to skills so it can be beneficial to them and make them self-reliance.”

He added that “NYSC is a gateway organisation that can be used to harness the potential of the youths in the country which will aid the nation in its drive to transform the economy to digital economy. Abdullahi noted that the Agency has built ICT hubs and Digital Job Capacity Centre across the country which he said can be used in transforming knowledge to skills. He called on the youths to not only use their devices for social media alone as it is distracting and time-wasting but to learn skills online and make money off it.

In conclusion, “Social media abuse is a burning issue that disturbs everyone; we have to work with other government agencies to collaborate on solving the issue. There is a need to regulate it and people should be held responsible for whatever content they posted”, he concluded.