The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has said that it would train 37,000 fact checkers across the country.
The Director-General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, said this at a three-day workshop in One-Man Village in Nasarawa State in collaboration with Avant-Garde InterBiz Limited.
According to him, the training, with the theme, “Misinformation, Fake News and Hate Speech: Implication for National Security”, will be in partnership with government and non-governmental organizations.
“The agency will train 1000 fact checkers from each states of the federation and the FCT, to acquire skills on how to fact check news on the internet. The workshop was part of the efforts to equip participants with a clear understanding of what hate speech and fake news are all about, and how to identify them.
“It will also help the to know how they could be linked to insecurity and how they can be mitigated using multi-faceted strategies. This is intended to make participants effective ambassadors in the campaign to curb these negative tendencies.
“We must therefore, cultivate the culture of dialogue to achieve consensus and compromise on any national issue,” Abari said.
On his part, a former Spokesman of the Nigeria Army, Brig-Gen. Sani Usman (Retd), in his keynote, said that the amount of fake news, disinformation and misinformation spread on the web and social media is overwhelming.
“These variables are spread mainly on the media, Websites, Social Networks, and the Internet on various topics and issues,” Usman represented by his Technical Adviser, Saddika Muhammad, said.
He said that it is important to cross-check and verify facts and authenticate information and that all must also learn to differentiate between facts and opinions.
“Consequently, it is high time we join hands in combatting the menace of fake news, misinformation and hate speech. This is why we need to take media and information literacy with all seriousness. We must think before posting or sharing any information and employing intercultural dialogue when relating with media content,” he said.
Earlier, Principal Partner, Avant-Garde InterBiz Limited, Nathaniel Allahmagani, said, “The workshop was apt and gives me opportunity to preach peace, unity and nation building anywhere I find myself. I was a victim of hate speech and misinformation in year 2000.”
He said over 20 organizations are participating in the workshop.