By Lukman Olabiyi
Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, has implored all stakeholders in information management not to rest on their oars, in order to address issue of fake news because of its danger.
He declared that fake news syndrome is deadlier than COVID-19 pandemic because of its aftermath effect.
Omotoso disclosed this during a three-day retreat organised by the Ministry of Information and Strategy for its 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 and other stakeholders present, including leaders of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and editors of different media organisations, charged the PAOs to catch up with the new trend in information management 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.
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 and phase it out. I know if our information officers should start moving with trends, it would be of great advantage.
“All information managers in this administration of Governor 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 is 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.
the Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Tolani Oshodi, thanked the ministry for convening a retreat packed with programmes that will improve the skills and output of its team, just as he reflected that information management and dissemination have 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.