2023 Elections: DG NITDA MAKES CASE FOR INDIGENOUS FACT CHECKERS IN COMBATING FAKE NEW
2023 Elections: DG NITDA MAKES CASE FOR INDIGENOUS FACT CHECKERS IN COMBATING FAKE NEWS
By Mansour Aliyu Hassan.
The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, has called on the management of global tech giant Meta to involve more fact-checkers with good knowledge of Nigeria’s local languages.
Inuwa made the call when he received WhatsApp’s Director, Public Policy for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Helen Charles, alongside Meta’s Head of Public Policy for Anglophone West Africa Adaora Ikenze on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Pantami in his office.
The DG noted that fact-checking could be an entirely new industry with lots of job opportunities.
According to him, “the fact-checking aspect of the Code of Practice is critical now because of the election, we need more fact-checkers, and also beyond the election, we are looking at how we can expand it to even make it an Industry which can create jobs within the country”.
While assuring Nigerians that government would not meddle in the activities of fact-checkers, as they will be given a free hand to operate, content posted by Nigerians should be thoroughly verified by the fact-checkers to establish its genuineness or otherwise for appropriate action.
Inuwa appealed that the fact-checkers must be proficient in at least the three major languages in Nigeria for easy spotting of such harmful content either written or translated into one of the languages. The DG NITDA further said that Meta’s support is highly needed, especially in supporting the growth of the Fact-checking industry.
“Technology is changing the way we live, work, our democracy, and everything. Technology is just beyond business or other things, it also touches our life and changes everything”, he noted.
He further noted, “therefore, we need to work together and change everything, so we need to improve on accountability, increase competition, safeguard privacy, protect our democracy and transform governance in Nigeria”.
“Everyone agreed that we need regulation, but we don’t know the best regulation, and the best way to go about it is to co-create that regulation in a similar way the Code of Practice was issued”, he added.
The Code of Practice (COP) that the NITDA Boss emphasized came at the right time as the country heads for its general election.
“So far, NITDA has done so much in terms of providing enabling environment for safe Information Technology usage in Nigeria while training a lot of Nigerian youth on the adoption of technology and improved practices as Nigeria keeps on expanding its digital literacy coverage in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2030 target of 95%”.
The Director General noted that NITDA will intensify its effort to ensure internet usage safety devoid of harmful content that could jeopardize the peace and harmonious coexistence among Nigerians before, during and after the elections.
Earlier in her presentation, Meta’s Director, Public Policy for Anglophone West Africa, Adaora Ikenze, noted that it was important for Nigerians to see accurate information on the services of Meta in Nigeria. Ikenze said henceforth, Meta through its fact-checking partners, FAP, Africa Check and Dubawa will remove any sensitive fake information that could lead to imminent violence or physical harm amongst people living in the country.
The fact-checking, she explained, would review and rate potentially false content on all the platforms, label it and place it lower on the feeds so that few numbers of people could see it.
Meta has since been engaging Fact Checkers in Nigeria and will continue to do so, especially with the Code of Practice in effect, which encourages platforms to engage the services of Fact Checkers, Ikenze said.
To further educate Nigerians on how to spot false news and the actions to take, Meta, she said, is partnering with local radio stations to create awareness against the creation and spread of false news through radio dramas in English and Pidgin.
Ikenze also intimated to the nation’s IT regulator that, Meta would also be executing a WhatsApp awareness campaign, #YouSaid in Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, and Pidgin to enlighten users on how to verify the information before sharing and running online ads on Facebook.
She explained that Meta’s approach has also been informed by conversations with human rights groups, NGOs, local civil society organizations, regional experts, and local election authorities to help ensure the safety of people using Meta’s family of apps.
She also gave assurance that Meta is deeply concerned and remains committed to protecting the integrity of the Nigerian electoral process, as well as the entrenchment of a culture of zero tolerance for fake news proliferation.
SME: NITDA CANVASSES FOR ADOPTION, ADAPTATION OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES
SPONSORED BY: H&H
The survival of the 21st century Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, (MSME) has been said to largely depend on the adoption and adaptation of digital technologies, hence, the call on entrepreneurs by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), to embrace it to increase productivity and profitability of their businesses.
The NITDA’s Director General, Kashifu Inuwa, expressed this view as a keynote speaker at the 10th edition of Abuja Enterprise Agency’s Business 360 Clinics with the theme “Technology Utilisation and Innovation: Its Effect on SME Profitability and Productivity.
The NITDA’s boss who was represented at the event by the Acting National Coordinator, Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation,(ONDI), Mr Yakubu Musa, said the effective utilisation of technology by SMEs will result in improved efficiency, and invariably leads to higher productivity. So, productivity increases when SMEs focuses on progress, rather than perfection.
He maintained that there is a significant impact on the economic survival of the nation if technology is embraced.
He said, “Technology utilisation exerts a significant impact on the economic survival of nations, particularly, in today’s high-technology market where technological innovations are rapid and disruptive.
This has become the gains derived from the adoption and adaptation of existing technologies while also investing in the creation of new technologies to ensure sustained growth in Nigeria’s SMEs.
While acknowledging that technological progress allows for efficient production of superior goods and services by SME, Kashifu noted that it remains the drivers of global economic growth. ”They play a major role in the economies of all the countries in the world by their contribution to national economic growth and employment. SMEs contribute greatly to job creation and overall economic growth,” he added.
The DG informed that NITDA has undertaken several collaborative initiatives and programmes that are positively impacting on Nigeria’s SME.
He listed some of the collaborations to include partnership with Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), on Digital Marketing for SMEs, Gender Techpreneurship Workshop for Women, partnership with the AEA on Digital Innovation Training for 300 secondary school students in the Federal Capital Territory, and many more.
Earlier in his welcome address, the AEA Chief Executive Officer, Malam Shehu Abdulquadir, described the theme as very apt because it hinged on technological adaptation towards the profitability of SMEs because the outbreak of COVID-19 has brought a lot of distribution which has made technological adaptation compelling.
He stated further that the program was aimed at supporting the recovery of SMEs from the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that, supporting SMEs after the pandemic would help them gain their traction back.
He revealed that the Agency has disbursed N200 million to 850 SMEs in Abuja and by next month, it is expected to disburse other tranches of 3.5 million USD to over 2,500 SMEs.
He said beneficiaries of the first tranches have retired the grant disbursed by the Agency from the World Bank assuring that “we are going to get more people from diverse stakeholders across all the six councils in the FCT to benefit from it.
Photos As Speaker Obasa, Lawmakers Get Certificate Of Reture
…Legislators thank Lagosians for mandate
AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM
SPONSORED BY: H&H
“On behalf of my colleagues, we will continue to build on the success of the current Assembly when we resume for the 10th Assembly. We want to assure Lagosians that we will continue to make laws, pass motions and resolutions that will bring progress to Lagos and protect the interests of residents.
“That’s the assurance that I have from the 39 other members-elect,” Dr. Obasa told journalists at the event which had Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat in attendance.
A total of 38 lawmakers-elect from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and two from the opposition received their Certificate of Return.
The Speaker thanked his constituents in Agege and Lagosians for their support for the APC.
“I thank my people in Agege for their consistency, loyalty and support at all times. And to Lagosians, we say thank you. At least APC has 38 lawmakers-elect out of the 40 for the House of Assembly. We have the three senatorial seats and a whole lot in the House of Representatives. We are very happy about this and have reasons to thank Lagosians.
“We are going to support the Governor in his assignments to bring growth and progress to Lagos State as well as protect the lives and property of our people. However, supporting the executive arm does not mean we are going to compromise or abandon our constitutionally guaranteed responsibilities,” Obasa said.
He expressed optimism that Lagos will benefit from the centre in the next administration because “we have a President-elect that we all have absolute confidence in and who had done very well in Lagos State with good track record.
“We are sure that with him, many of our national challenges would be resolved because he has the capacity and knowledge to deliver. I have no doubt in my mind about it.”
ALFADARAI WITNESSES THE ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF RETURN TO THE GOVERNOR ELECT AND DEPUTY GOVERNOR ELECT IN LAGOS
The State Commandant, NSCDC, Lagos state Command, Commandant of Corps Usman Alfadarai, fdc, mnim, mpa, fisn, today, Thursday, 30th March, 2023, witnessed the issuance of certificate of return to the Governor – Elect, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo – Olu and the Deputy Governor – Elect, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hazmat, of Lagos State, from the Honourable Resident Electoral Commissioner, of the State, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Yaba.
In addition, the members of the State House of Assembly also received their certificates of return today.
The event, which was also witnessed, by the Lagos Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, mni, also had a lot of dignitaries from INEC and other relevant bodies, including visible media presence seen there today.
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