By Salma Muhammed and Caroline Barebwoha
UNICEF Nigeria and its partners officially launched U-Report on 29 April 2015, a year after its inception with close to 200,000 registered users. The event took place at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos and was hosted by Nigeria’s very own Toke Makinwa renowned MC, TV and radio talk show host.
Makinwa moderated an interactive session with some of the National Youth Corp members who were in attendance sharing their experiences so far on the U-Report platform.
UNICEF Nigeria Representative Jean Gough gave the opening remarks to officially start off the Launch:
“U-Report is a platform for youths most especially because it gives them an avenue to express their opinion.”
“It is the youth in communities that are driving this agenda”
A dance crew led by Kaffy, thrilled the guests to a spectacular show. Goodwill messages from representatives of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) & National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) were also shared. James Powell, U-Report Global Strategist & Coordinator also sent in a goodwill video message from the Global Innovation Centre congratulating U-Report Nigeria on its official launch.
Star guest artiste, Banky W got on stage and thrilled the guests to a wonderful performance leaving everyone entertained.
While the event was going, live tweets from several Twitter users discussing the U-Report Launch went out with several other participants including the artists posting pictures and sharing real time updates on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #UreportNigeriaLaunch.
The U-Report platform which provides a forum for all Nigerians — young and old –to speak out on the issues happening in their communities through weekly polls. All SMSs are free for users. To sign up users only have to text the word JOIN to 24453.
With almost 200,000 registered U-Reporters so far, a target of 1 million U-Reporters has been set to be achieved before the end of 2015. The National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) is the lead partner to achieve this target in Africa’s most populous country and leading economy.
The event ended with the official launch being done by Mrs V. B. Okakwu, Director, Community Development Services and Special Projects, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) together with the UNICEF Nigeria Representative Jean Gough.
“I am proud to be a Nigerian U-Reporter, it is informative and fun,” remarked one Corper. That’s the sentiment we hope all Nigerians will share, as we work to create a connected community effecting positive change for their country.