abuja—The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said yesteday that his Ministry has strengthened the capacity of its information officers to tackle the menace of fake news with fact-based counter-narrative.
He stated this in his keynote address at a capacity building Workshop for Strategic Communication Liaison Officers, with the theme “Mainstreaming Strategic Communication Across Government for National Security,” in Abuja yesterday.
He 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.
‘’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,’’ Mohammed said.
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.
He said: “For example, we 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.
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