The Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation will expend a whopping sum of N138,066,187 to fight fake news and print calendars.
As outlined in the details of the 2024 Appropriation Bill presented to the National Assembly by President Bola Tinubu, the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation, has earmarked N138,066,187 to address the issue of fake news and support various communication initiatives.
A significant portion of this allocation, as disclosed in the budget breakdown, will be utilized to combat fake news while also printing calendars.
Part of the fund will facilitate media appearances for ministers and organise engagements with social media influencers, among other initiatives.
It would be recalled that the immediate past Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed initiated a campaign against fake news during the tenure of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
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Mohammed highlighted the evolution of fake news, transitioning from basic misinformation to more sophisticated “deep” fake news. He stressed that this phenomenon was being weaponized against the government and officials.
The breakdown of the 2024 budget reveals detailed allocations for specific communication strategies. Notably, N24.5 million is dedicated to a special enlightenment campaign on government programs and policies, including advocacy against fake news, hate speech, and various societal issues such as farmers-herders clashes, banditry, and rape.
Moreover, the government has allocated N40 million for the production of calendars, N30 million for external publicity and engagement with foreign media, and N20.7 million for media interactions by ministers, influencers, and analysts across print and social media platforms.
Additionally, the government plans to invest N21.7 million in developing social media platforms and networking with other digital platforms to bolster its communication efforts.
President Tinubu submitted the comprehensive 2024 appropriation budget to the National Assembly last week.