The Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation of the Nigerian Federal Government has set aside N138,066,187 in its 2024 budget for a number of projects, one of which is the fight against fake news. That money is part of the 2024 Appropriation Bill that the National Assembly is currently talking about.
This financial pledge will be used for a variety of tasks, including fighting fake news, printing calendars, helping ministers make media appearances, and working with social media influencers, among other things.
The fight against fake news was earlier led by Lai Mohammed, who was Minister of Information and Culture under former President Muhammadu Buhari. Mohammed talked about how fake news has changed in Nigeria in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in 2021. He specifically talked about how “deep” fake news is now used against the government and its leaders. At first, Mohammed noticed that even mainstream and respectable media sources were contributing to this trend. At first, this trend was linked to obscure online publications. He stressed the punishments that could be given to people who are caught sharing this kind of false information.
The budget for these projects in 2024 includes N24.5 million for a special effort to teach people about government programs and policies. The main goal of this effort is to find out how these policies affect people. It will also fight against things like fake news, hate speech, fights between farmers and herders, banditry, and rape.
Additionally, the budget details show that N40 million will be spent on making calendars, N30 million on publicity and working with foreign media, and N20.7 million on interactions between ministers, influencers, and experts and the media in print and social media. An extra N21.7 million is set aside to help social media sites grow and connect with each other.
This budget plan comes after President Bola Tinubu sent the 2024 appropriation budget to the National Assembly last week. It shows that the government is still committed to fighting false information and improving communication with the public.