Earlier last week, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced that the Nigerian Government will be releasing a mobile app. This was disclosed in a meeting with Resident Information Officers (RIOs) in the ministry. Named Federal Government Information App (FGIAPP) a.k.a ‘Buhari app’, it is meant to keep Nigerians abreast of the activities of the Buhari-led administration.
The app, as claimed, will be used for dissemination of information – bridging the information gap between the government and the people (as if we don’t have enough of those channels already).
On hearing about this, many bothering questions started popping up. Is this truly what we Nigerians need right now?
In my opinion, this app launch is more of plugging in a square peg in a round hole. Nigerians generally don’t care about apps. Why would they then care about this? There are many statistics to prove this.
This Opera Mobile Report gives you the first clue. To really get the picture, consider that Nigeria has about 90 million active internet subscribers. Do this quick search on Google Play Store. Search for the popular Nigerian banks and their app download counts. Also check those of Jumia and Konga. Then come back and tell me what you see.
An app is not the solution to Nigeria’s problems. Where are the jobs, infrastructure, access to health care, schools? Not an app that will be installed by a few thousand people.
We already have enough credible news sources both online and offline.
The Buhari app is set to be launched on the 15th of December in Abuja, and is developed by one.
The funny part is that the content in the app will be curated and updated by Resident Information Officers (RIOs) from ministries, departments and agencies. If I hear!! 😂 This is already sounding like a failed project even before launch.