The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has revealed the federal government’s strategy for tackling fake news in the country.
He said that his Ministry had strengthened the capacity of its information officers to deal with the menace of fake news through fact-based counter-narrative.
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Mohammed stated this yesterday while presenting his keynote address at a capacity building Workshop for Strategic Communication Liaison Officers, which was held in Abuja.
The Minister said though the social media had proven to be a powerful tool of public communication, it was plagued with challenges, particularly the prevalence of fake news which made it imperative for information officers to brace up and overcome the challenge.
He said the Federal Government was also implementing a robust strategic communication framework, with feedback mechanism, to interface with Nigerians on the policies and programmes of government.
Mohammed said: ‘’Faced with the prevalence of fake news, we took action by preparing Information Officers with the skills to identify and counter such fake news through engagement and counter narrative.
‘’Information officers are assigned to monitor both online and offline news media to identify such fake news and develop timely and credible counter narratives to respond to such fake news.
“We also engage through town hall meetings across the six geo-political zones to inform Nigerians and the international community about our programmes and to listen to criticism, feedback and advice from the citizens.
‘’Through these meetings, we are able to shape policy and improve on delivering our promises to the people. The town hall meetings, undoubtedly, have yielded positive results with the kind of direct feedback we received from Nigerians.
‘’These interactions with Nigerians underscore the importance government attaches to the people in carrying them along in the task of governance.’’
He underscored the critical role of information officers in strengthening government’s communication to achieve national strategic objectives, particularly in managing the image, reputation and promoting the cultures of the people of Nigeria through a dynamic public information system.