29th July, 2021
Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso on Thursday described fake news as deadlier than the dreaded COVID-19.
He charged all stakeholders in information management to join in the fight against fake news, saying the aftermath of the menace is deadlier than COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
The commissioner, who spoke at a three-days retreat organised by the state Ministry of Information and Strategy for Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) at the management level, theme for the event was: “Managing Information Through the New Media in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous and Disruptive (VUCAD) World.”
Omotoso, others stakeholders present which includes leaders of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), editors of different media organizations charged the PAOs to catch up with the new trend in information management in order to check fake news.
According to Omotoso, at the moment officers, as custodians of news, if officers take charge and move with trends, the issue of prevalent fake news would be a thing of the past.
“I can tell you that no disease is afflicting the world more than the issue of fake news and this is the time all practitioners should rise up and phase it out. I know that if our information officers should start moving with trends, it would be of great advantage.
“All information managers in this administration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu should try to be up and doing. They have done well and can still do better.
“Communication is fast changing. What you knew yesterday is not relevant today. It’s time to build capacity for us to be able to deliver to the admiration of Lagosians.
“The resources that government recently invested into getting our PAOs inducted into NIPR reflect the thinking and importance attached to professionalism. It is the desire of this administration that all PAOs are proficient and competent,” Omotoso said.
Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Mrs. Tolani Oshodi, expressed appreciation to the ministry for convening a retreat packed with programmes that would improve the skills and output of its team, just as he reflected that information management and dissemination has moved a notch higher than what was the norm.
Muri-Okunola, therefore, urged participants to take full advantage of the opportunity provided by the forum to improve their knowledge, skills and competencies as information management professionals, while making meaningful and impactful contributions towards achieving the set objectives of the exercise.