Bukola Saraki Reiterates Commitment To OpenNass

…Says that Anti-Social Media Bill is ‘Dead on Arrival’

…Announces that CSOs will be part of 2017 Budget Hearing

Today, the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, delivered the keynote address at the StateCraft Masterclass series at Social Media Week, Lagos (#SMWLagos).

Speaking at the event, the Senate President emphasised the growing influence of social media users in Nigeria’s political environment, and encouraged the audience to continue contributing to the development of Nigeria through their dialogue and debate on social media.

The Senate President stated that:“Without the involvement of social media, there is no way that we would have moved from a non-performing government — because now everything is out in the open unlike years ago.”

Saraki went on to commend the online community, calling them the real ‘Chairmen of INEC,’ citing that their crowdsourced election results from polling stations during the general elections, ensured that the manipulation of vote counts was kept to the barest minimum.

“Though we had the numbers,” Saraki said, “It is really thanks to social media that votes counted because you shared the results as they happened.”

Bukola Saraki at te social Media Week Lagos1
Bukola Saraki at the Social Media Week, Lagos on Friday 26th February, 2016

The Senate President also announced that the controversial aspects of the ‘Frivolous Petition Bill,’ which is the section 4 of the Anti-frivolous petition Bill now popularly known as ‘Anti-Social Media Bill’ would not see the light of day at the Senate.

Saraki went on to assure the audience at #SMWLagos that in the next few weeks, the calls for an Open National Assembly (#OpenNASS) would be actualised, and Nigerians would get to see the line-item allocations of the National Assembly.

The Senate President called for continued cooperation and conversation between the government and the public via social media, and mentioned that following the recent National Assembly Interactive Session with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) called #NASSEngages, starting in 2017, CSOs would be a part of the budget hearing process.

The Senate President who is the 1st public official in office to personally attend  social media week which is in its 4th year assured participant that his presence at the event shows how serious National Assembly takes social media

Social Media Week Returns To Lagos

Social Media Week (SMW) Lagos produced by AFRIKA21 and Dragon Africa returns to Lagos, Nigeria, for it’s 4th edition, February 22-26, 2016. SMW Lagos is part of the global conference Social Media Week hosted simultaneously in 12 other cities around the world. Lagos is the first African city to host the annual event, and currently the only African city hosting the week-long global conference. To date, over 20,000 people have participated in SMW Lagos.

The global theme for the February 2016 edition of Social Media Week is The Invisible Hand: Hidden Forces of Technology. Informed by the global theme, the local theme for SMW Lagos is, ‘The Networked African: Technology’s Impact on Africa (and How We Can Harness it for Good).’ During the week-long event the themes and issues surrounding how mobile technology; networked connectivity; data and other technologies are radically changing industries and communities across Africa.

In a continent ‘a billion strong’ we understand that our collective capacity will have a huge impact on society beyond our various countries borders. Technology fuels this shift, but it is the networked African in the driver seat. How we harness technology and leverage our individual connectivity will determine Africa’s future and recontextualize the continent’s influence globally.” – Ngozi Odita, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Social Media Week Lagos

SMW Lagos 2016 will be held at the SMW Lagos Campus located at Landmark Center, a state of the art event space on Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria. The SMW Lagos Campus will host keynotes, panels discussions, master classes and feature digital installations, co-working spaces, executive meeting rooms, exhibitions and a beachfront lounge for post-conference networking. The conference will explore a wide range of topics including social media and the Nigerian football industry, business, entertainment, education, technology and governance.  In addition, SMW Lagos 2016 debuts several new programming tracks, Future of Media Summit, Women In Tech and the Interactive Pavilion, which includes Stage15.  SMW Lagos is free and open to the public.

NEW FOR 2016
Future of Media Summit
SMW Lagos kicks off with the ‘Future of Media’ Summit on Monday the 22nd of February 2016.  News Bureaus, broadcasters, journalists and bloggers join us to share best practices and discuss what’s next on the continent’s media landscape. The summit will feature talks led by Agence France-Presse, The GuardianNigeria, Black Enterprise, Quartz Africa, The Guardian (UK), Pulse Nigeria, and the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Women in Tech Day
When one woman helps another, amazing things can happen. Professional careers leap forward and new ideas take root… that’s what SMW Lagos African Women in Tech Day is all about. Taking place on Wednesday, February 24, the day will feature panel sessions and master classes led by Intel, She Leads Africa, and Facebook.

Interactive Pavilion
SMW Lagos’ Interactive Pavilion hosts a diverse range of forward-thinking exhibitors – from promising start-ups to established industry leaders. It’s where business gets done: on the pavilion floor, in and around our conference program, in impromptu connections, and in planned meetings and special events. The five-day show encourages targeted connections and new discoveries through experiential offerings from our partner exhibitors, as well as co-working spaces, curated lounges and original crowd sourced programming on Stage15.

To learn more about SMW Lagos 2016 and register to attend, visit http://socialmediaweek.org/lagos/attend/.  For the latest news and updates follow SMW Lagos on Twitter via @SMWLagos or on Facebook via facebook.com/SMWLagos.