EFCC and the humanization of social media for Nigerian brands and government agencies

by | Dec 20, 2016

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), charged with investigating financial crimes and money laundering, has had the most outrageous and comical comebacks to users who tweet at them via their official Twitter handle. There was this one in reply to a user who was wondering if the EFCC’s account has been hacked.

There was this one in reply to a user who was wondering if the EFCC’s account has been hacked


Then they try to lure a potential offender into the office


And proceeded to throw a jab at another for bad grammar


Comebacks or clapbacks, as these witty replies are called, are not unusual on Twitter. In fact, companies, celebrities and popular figures all over the world usually throw them at their followers from time to time.

For example, Burger King versus Wendy’s. These popular fast-food companies in the USA, are always at each other’s jugular on social media. Here in Nigeria, there has been a lot of sarcastic engagement from brands; banks and telcos among many other companies.

First, there was that time Heritage Bank engaged a Twitter follower in a conversation, and from nowhere they hit with the line from popular Instagram comedian Akanm D Boy.

Then Airtel Nigeria came with one of the most savage (and uncalled for) comebacks on Nigerian Twitter, but it was really funny.

Serving government functionaries in Nigeria are not left out of this Twitter fiasco. There was a time Senator Abike Dabiri Erewa replied a tweep on Twitter who tagged her on to a tweet asking why he should come back to Nigeria with the poor state of affairs in the country.

Heritage Bank, Airtel and even Abike Dabiri Erewa as brands seek to show their followers a human and relatable side. That is understandable. But does the EFCC as a government agency/officials need so much sarcasm in its tweets?

The Humanization of Social Media

The need for human engagement to thrive is the underlying thread connecting all the brands involved in these virtual repartees.

As a government organization that deals with nabbing criminals, it is easy to assume the EFCC does not need a “funny” or sarcastic Twitter. The EFCC does not sell anything, but for every brand as long as there is a degree of human engagement, it is necessary to make it relatable.

Even though the EFCC has always handled tweets with some sort of lightheartedness, this recent (obvious) change in strategy/social media managers has seen increased engagement from followers. Most asking about petitions and making general inquiries. Cooperation and information from citizens are two important factors that ease the work of law enforcement agencies the world over.

According to a social media manager,

This social media strategy by @officialEFCC is new and somewhat novel for a government agency in Nigeria. As much as its primary aim is to engage the people, I sometimes feel like they are going overboard with the jabbering and banter

When asked if she thought it was ethical, she said in social media, ‘ethical’ isn’t really a word; all that matters is a strategy worked out to fully implement the client’s plans towards the end goal.

And it is obvious that the law enforcement’s plan to engage has been successful as the account has seen an increase in retweets, likes and replies to tweets.

Making social media human and engaging is a step towards perfecting effective virtual customer care. Considering that there was a time when tweets to companies and government agencies sent replies that were obviously from Twitterbots, this step is long overdue and welcome.

On a lighter note, there was that time a tweet called for the arrest of Arsenal Football Club’s manager Arsene Wenger.


And the EFCC replied with a mock apology, citing the football club’s place on the league table.

Victor Ekwealor
Victor Ekwealor

tech. media. startups. africa. vc | Twitter: @victor_ekwealor

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