BRIEF ON MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE’S RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS, FOLLOWING THE FIRST CONFIRMED CASE IN NIGERIA.

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With Coronavirus now in Nigeria, following the first confirmed case, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture is intensifying its public sensitization and enlightenment campaign on the disease. The saying, ”information is power is most apt at this time”.

Media agencies of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, like the NTA, FRCN, NAN, VON and NOA, have been directed to intensify their ongoing sensitization and enlightenment campaign to arm Nigerians with the necessary information to stay well.

The measures being taken by the agencies include

– Jingles on radio and television

– Up-to-date reports on the efforts being made by Nigerian health authorities to ensure proper screening at the nation’s gateways and also handle possible cases

– Continued airing of documentaries on the disease by the NTA

– SMS sensitization messages being sent to Nigerians by the News Agency of Nigeria

– The National Orientation Agency (NOA), with its wide reach (offices in all the 774 local governments), is pushing the various sensitization/enlightenment programmes to all the nooks and crannies of the country, translating the campaign to the major indigenous languages to expand their reach

– Features on the disease (prevention, treatment, etc.) are being written and disseminated

The Federal Government wishes to appeal to all Nigerians not to panic, as the Government is well-equipped to detect and handle any possible case or cases.

We know that at times like this, purveyors of fake news and disinformation usually ramp up their acts. We are therefore urging Nigerians not to fall for the antics of purveyors of fakes news and disinformation

Fortunately, Facebook is working with us in this regard. They have asked Nigerians to report any false or misleading report on Facebook and Instagram pages so they can immediately bring them down

They have also assured us that they are taking preemptive action to remove any false or harmful messages about this epidemic and public health in Nigeria 24/7. All that Nigerians are required to do is to flag any false or misleading report on the epidemic and Facebook will remove any such report

I thank you all