The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has urged Nigerians to be watchful of local and international detractors peddling fake and misguided information on different social networking handles with the purpose of truncating the peace and stability of the nation as it prepares for the general election come 2023.
The Director General of the Agency, Dr Garba Abari, who gave this plea at the opening of the National Fact Checking Course Seven held in Abuja at the Mambilla Barracks, said NOA has a deliberate mandate to train over thirty-seven thousand fact checkers across the country in order to curb the menace of misinformation and disinformation.
He added that the training, which is a continuous process, uses the same modules in all its initial courses to train information experts on how to detect where information circulating on social waves originates from.
The Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, warns the media, especially the broadcast outlets, to avoid being used by some elements to promulgate hate speech and fake news, as anyone found wanting will be strictly dealt with, adding that NBC is readily poised to get rid of those whose objective is to cause disunity and violence among the citizenry.
Ilelah said that NBC is committed to arresting the menace by encouraging broadcasters to provide detailed and intelligent daily accounts of local, national, and international events in an accurate and truthful manner without distorting or misrepresentation.
NBC DG stressed that the commission has categorically banned any form of fake news and any breach of this will be punished.
Goodwill messages by representatives of DG SS and DG NITDA, among others, advised the participants to be ambassadors of truth and objectivity.
The national fact-checking course is designed by the National Orientation Agency to sensitize information experts on ways to detect false information on various social media networks and has trained over eighty participants in seven courses.
ASC II Omokhunu Taiye Juliet
PRO Unit National Headquarters