Fake news deadlier than COVID-19 — Lagos Commissioner

The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, has called on all stakeholders in information management to join in the fight against fake news, saying the aftermath of the menace is deadlier than the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.

Omotoso spoke on Thursday at a three-day retreat by his Ministry for its management level Public Affairs Officers.

Themed: “Managing Information Through the New Media in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous and Disruptive (VUCAD) World,” Omotoso at the training attended by other stakeholders, including leaders of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, Editors of different media organizations, charged the PAOs to catch up with the new trend in information management in order to check fake news.

The Commissioner maintained that the moment officers, as custodians of news, take charge and move with trends, the issue of prevalent fake news would be a thing of the past.

He said no disease was afflicting the world more than the issue of fake news and, therefore, the time all practitioners should rise up and phase it out.

Omotoso said: “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 Lagos.

“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.”

The Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, in his keynote address at the event appreciated the ministry for convening a retreat packed with programs that would improve the skills and output of its team, just as he reflected that information management and dissemination had moved a notch higher than what was the norm.

Muri-Okunola, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Tolani Oshodi, 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.

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