The Federal Government as part of its advocacy against fake news, hate speech, and banditry has allocated the sum of N81,677,335 to the cause.
This is contained in the 2023 appropriation bill obtained from the website of the budget office of Nigeria.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had, over time, said that the country had constantly been at war against perpetrators of fake news and hate speech.
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The minister in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria last year had stated that Nigeria had graduated from ordinary fake news to “deep” fake news, which according to him, was being used to wage war against the government and its officials. He had also said that at the beginning, purveyors of deep fake news were largely unknown online publications, adding that it was, however, unfortunate that otherwise reputable publications and some mainstream media had joined the bandwagon while adding that citizens found guilty would be sanctioned.
In the budget, which was analysed by our correspondent, it was realised that N22,567,865 would be used for “special enlightenment
campaign on government’s programmes and policies, testimonial series to gauge impact of government policies on the citizenry.
“Advocacy against fake news, hate speech, farmers-herders clashes, banditry, rape, e.t.c.”
The budget further stated that the sum of N18,654,780 would be used for “quarterly interaction with foreign media, PR lobby”. Further analysis also revealed that a total of N24,000,000 would be used for the production of year 2024 Federal Government wall calendar. It was also revealed that the total of N16,454,690 would be spent for “institutional interactions with stakeholders such as bloggers, online publications, Nigeria Union of Journalists among others.”
The PUNCH reports that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Friday, presented the 2023 appropriation bill before the National Assembly in Abuja.