The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has debunked report in the social media that N3.4bn was budgeted for the national reorientation campaign “Change Begins With Me”.
The minister spoke on Friday in Asaba at the opening of the National Council on Information.
He said that the report was a ruse and a good example of challenges posed by democratisation of the technology of information dissemination.
He clarified that the alleged N3.4bn budget was more than the overall annual budget of the ministry which, he said, was less than N2bn.
He said, “Anyone can wake up and decide to become an online newspaper publisher, an online television station owner, an online radio station operator, a purveyor of news, photographs and videos.
“They use the numerous social media platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, Skype, Twitter and Instagram just to mention a few.
“They spread whatever information that catches their fancy without engaging in the rigours of accuracy, fact-checking and fairness imposed by the traditional media.
“But there is another problem: They have their own public, and this public believes whatever information they put out.”
The minister said the matter is worsened by the traditional media and seasoned writers who regurgitate the falsehood without cross checking the facts.
The minister also faulted the falsehood being peddled in the social media on dropping and swapping of ministers by the President.
He said, “Ministers are daily being dropped on the social media.