2023 Elections: Nigerian government urges broadcasters to help fight fake news

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AS NIGERIA prepares for its 2023 general elections, the Nigerian government has urged the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) to help in combating the menace of fake news in the country.

This call was made in Abuja by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, during the opening ceremony of the Digital Media Convention and the 76th General Assembly of Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria.

The minister tasked the media on the need to disseminate factual information to the public and provide necessary feedback from the public to the government.

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He also appealed to the Nigerian media to continue providing accurate and verified information “that will promote the unity of our country and deepen our democracy.”

“Now that the politicking has started prelude to the 2023 general elections, the media as the fourth estate of the realm must adhere strictly to the rules as stipulated in the NBC code and other statutes, including the newly passed Electoral Act.”

“The broadcast media should help in combating the menace of fake news by disseminating correct information to the public and provide necessary feedback from the public to the government,” Mohammed said.

The minister, who was represented by Ayo Adewuyi, observed that the practical digitization in Nigeria which commenced with Buhari’s government in 2016 in Jos, Plateau State, has successfully been launched in 6 other states namely: Lagos, Kwara, Osun, Enugu, Kano and the FCT.

“All things being equal, Port Harcourt Digital switchover will take place before the end of April, 2022.”

He added that digital switchover is a capital intensive project, which demands a partnership between the Nigerian government and private investors to execute.

“All over the world, where Digital migration had been carried out successfully, they have employed the full participation of the private sector to drive it.”

ALSO READ: Why media houses should set up fact-checking desks to counter fake news

“I am sure that this digital convention will bring to the front burner the essence of partnership by all stakeholders and industry players on achieving a collective digital migration,” the minister noted.

Earlier in his opening address, the BON Chairman,  John Ugbe, said the organisation will continue to strive towards ensuring adherence to the laid down rules and ethical conduct in the broadcast sector.

Ugbe, who doubles as the Chief Executive Officer of Multichoice Nigeria Limited, unveiled the organisation’s plan to commence the training and retraining of broadcast practitioners in April 2022.

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