The Coordinator, Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF), Mrs Mary Uduma, has urged youths to change Nigeria’s image and rewrite the country’s history online.
Uduma gave the advice on Wednesday in Lagos, during the ‘Nigeria Youth Internet Governance Forum (NYIGF) 2019’, with the theme: ‘Our Internet; Shaping the Digital Future’.
She said: ”The image of Nigeria on the internet is negative, hence, the need for the youth to rewrite such image, for the good of the country.
“The youths are internet natives because they are born into it, hence, should be able to contribute to govern the internet.
”The internet has now given a good platform for youths to develop apps, to develop policies, for them to learn and then redo the wrong things we have done.
”We are now in the smart age, and so they will rewrite Nigeria’s history using the smart age to do that.’’
According to the coordinator, Internet governance is a platform where multi stakeholders in the internet space, be it government, private sector, civil society, academia, or technical community come together to discuss burning issues that have to do with internet development.
She said that it had to do with how people would protect themselves on the internet.
Uduma said that Nigeria was involved in the Internet governance, developing policies and engaging in a lot of advocacy on ways to govern the internet.
She said that there was the need for the youth to know how to protect themselves online and how to make good use of the internet.
According to her, there is no person regulating the internet and there is no control, as it is open.
”Even when you are using this open platform, you should apply some norms, values and rules.
”So, the role youths can play is by bringing new values, by bringing new tradition, by bringing development and making good use of the internet.
”Youths should bring new norms instead of being yahoo-yahoo boys; they should let their voices be heard,” he said.
Uduma stressed that they should let their development and innovations be taken over by the world.
“We should develop policies that the world can copy from, because generally, people look down on Nigeria, most of the time, and when you say you are from Nigeria, they look at you twice.
”But if they rewrite the history, people will respect us, we need to have that respect globally,’’ she said.
The Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative, Mr Gbenga Sesan, said that youths should know the local ICT ecosystem in Nigeria, in order to be relevant internationally.
Sesan urged youths to use their youthful passions to achieve the aspired goals and determine the relevant issues on the internet.
”Youths should understand what is behind the internet, understand the issues and know the areas of the internet to be experts on.
”Your passion will open doors where there is none. What Nigeria becomes is a factor of what the youths contribute. We should know more about the internet beyond browsing,” he said