President Muhammadu Buhari has called on all nations, multilateral and donor agencies, to support global financing of Media and Information Literacy to fight fake news and misinformation.
The President made the call on Monday in Abuja when he declared open the UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Week with the theme, “Nurturing Trust: A Media and Information Literacy imperative.”
The President who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, said he was aware that one of the major outcomes of the conference will be the Abuja Declaration.
The Abuja Declaration, according to him, will centre on Global Financing for Media and Information Literacy, as an imperative to fight misinformation and build trust in societies.
He, therefore reiterated that the global funding of MIL is a genuine course and should be supported by all nations of the globe, groups and individuals of goodwill.
“Trust is a key ingredient of democracy and good governance. Without trust, our avowed pledge to deliver on our promises as leaders will be impeded by the lack of commitment from the governed.
“As it is evident in our societies, getting reliable information is a constant battle because media practitioners and stakeholders within the sector face the clear and present danger of misinformation.
Also Read: Fake News, Hate Speech Now Biggest Threats To Nigeria’s Democracy – Jonathan
“Misinformation has been used to aggravate conflicts and crisis, exacerbate insecurity, distort government efforts, fuel apprehension among the citizens and create distrust between the governments and their peoples,” he said.
The President added that the widespread use of social media and its potential to mould, shape and form opinion has made the financing of media literacy imperative.
“We fully recognise and are cognisant that technology and social media offer us nearly limitless opportunities which must be harnessed especially by the youth to strengthen the foundations of our society and our common values.
“However, in confronting challenges of rising misinformation and hate speech we must also come together to defend freedom of speech, whilst upholding other values that we cherish.
“We must continue to work for a common standard that balances rights with responsibilities to keep the most vulnerable from harm and help strengthen and enrich our communities,” he said.