Reps urge NAN to help combat fake news on social media

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By EricJames Ochigbo

Abuja, Oct. 28, 2020 (NAN) The House of Representatives has charged the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) to help combat spread of fake news in the country, especially through the social media.
Rep. Odebunmi Olusegun, Chairman, House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, gave the charge on Wednesday during the 2021 budget defence at the National Assembly in Abuja.
Olusegun said that NAN has offices and personnel across the country which could be deployed on social media to tackle fake news.

He also advised the agency to create social media handles for its state offices to engage youths at the grassroots.

The platforms, he said, would be fed with genuine and authentic news.

Responding, NAN Managing Director, Mr Buki Ponle, said that the agency had always strived to disseminate authentic information to media organisations within and outside the country.

He said that since the inauguration of National Campaign Against Fake News in 2018, NAN has been using its platform to create awareness on the dangers of fake news.

According to him, NAN has been using its platform to counter fake news on the #EndSARS protest using reports and features.

The managing director said that N2.14 billion was proposed for the 2021 agency’s operations.

Ponle said that out of the amount, N267 million is for capital expenditure, while N1.66 billion is for personnel cost with N215.4 million devoted to overhead.

He said that though the budgetary allocation for the agency’s 2021 operation was little, it would continue to strive hard to combat fake news in the country.

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