Nigeria seeks more proactive measures to curb fake news
Rahila Lassa, Abuja
Communication managers have been urged to employ more proactive measures to curb the menace of fake news and hate speech in Nigeria.
The Bureau of Public Service Reforms made the call in Abuja at a one day training for Communication Mangers on fake news and Hate speech.
Director General of the BPSR, Dr Ibrahim Arabi said the role of Communication Managers in various organisations is critical and relevant, especially, at this time when the information eco-system has become more diffused.
“Communication channels and platforms have become so nebulous that government cannot afford to be reactive, all the time. The government ought to be the chief driver in the communication ecosystem, if naysayers are not to misinform, mislead and obfuscate government objectives and purpose for undertaking such policies and programmes, from the citizens”. He said.
He noted that Government expects public Communication Managers – to be fully equipped for effective information management, especially hence the need for the training.
” I, therefore, urge all of you, as Communication Managers to utilize this opportunity to build your capacities, having the knowledge that information management has gone digital, when accurate and prompt delivery to diverse public can no longer be sacrificed for any reason, as the negative impact of such on-service delivery and governance would not only be injurious to the nation, but also a disservice to the citizens who deserve the best from the government“. Arabi added
The Director General, Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu who was represented by the Director, Training of the Organisation, Ben Shemang, said Journalists must learn to do fact checks on their stories to ascertain credibility and ensure accuracy.
‘’ Pay attention to rescuing instead of filming and disseminating gory stories“. He said.
On his part, the Director General, Federal Emergency Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA Engr Nurudeen Rafindadi who was represented by the Head of Public Relations in the Agency, Maryam Sanusi cautioned Nigerians on the dangers of fake news, noting that countries have gone to war because of fake news.
One of the Resource persons for the training, Dr Bala Mohammed who delivered a paper on” Fake news, Hate speech and Alternative Trust/Fact Threat to the future of the Media and public Relations”, said the training was apt.
According to him, there’s need for public awareness campaign, training and retraining of Communication Managers on the dangers of fake news to curb ethno-religious crisis in the country.