Effective information management has been described as vital to economic and social development of any democracy.
Speaker House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila made the remark in Abuja at a two-day workshop on information as a strategic tool for national development organized by the House Committee on Information.
Gbajabiamila stressed the need for the review of laws regarding information dissemination and management to meet the current realities in the country.
He observed that though modern advancement in information technology has made information gathering cheaper and faster, it also brought challenges in the form of fake news and other vices.
“Our laws, systems and practices, and the policies that guide our strategies for information management were written for a world that no longer exists. Unfortunately, from the government to the private sector around the globe, there has been failure to recognize this and reluctance to act to fix the problems it portends. This is a grave error for us in Nigeria, a country with a dark and documented history of expensive and deadly conflicts considering the faultiness that exist in our society.
The House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values convened this conference to provide an opportunity for us to reflect on the theme of Information as a Strategic Tool for National Development. The concentration of knowledge, the diversity of experiences, and the depth of expertise of the people gathered here today provide a resource pool that will be harnessed to help us develop a new understanding of the challenge of effective information management in this new age. And at the same time, allow us to articulate precise options and approaches for using information management tools to achieve our national development objectives,” the Speaker added.
Proper information dissemination
The Chairman House of Representatives committee on information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, Mr Olusegun Odebunmi, explained that through proper information dissemination, Nigeria’s orientation and reorientation policies can be adapted for any planned paradigm shift for development purposes.
Odebunmi expressed concern that proper information management has not been given its deserved consideration in the society, hence resulted to unguided environment for promotion of hate speech and fake news.
“We as people, community and government must ask ourselves for what purpose, to what end and in which manner do we move from the present phase of development of our nation to the next?
Once such vision is identified, the major tool for making that vision a mantra and our way of life is through proper information generation, management and dissemination,” he stressed.
Odebunmi, observed that a properly managed information is not a way of hiding fact from the public neither a deviation from the truth nor deny them of their right of being informed but to guide the public for societal good.
The event featured paper presentations on effect of fake news and hate speech in the fight against insecurity and other forms of criminality as well as effective information as an indispensable tool to National Orientation, among others.
The conference is designed to assess the synergy between information management and National Development especially in the current socio-economic and security challenges facing the country.