The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation, will be spending N138,066,187 to combat fake news and print calendars.

Part of the sum will also be used to facilitate media appearances for ministers and organise engagement with social media influencers among others.

This is contained in the details of the 2024 Appropriation Bill currently before the National Assembly.

A former Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, initiated an advocacy against fake news under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Muhammed, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in 2021, stated that Nigeria had graduated from ordinary fake news to “deep” fake news, which according to him, was being used to wage war against the government and its officials.

He had also said that at the beginning, purveyors of deep fake news were largely unknown online publications, adding that it was, however, unfortunate that otherwise reputable publications and some mainstream media had joined the bandwagon while adding that citizens found guilty would be sanctioned.

In the 2024  budget, N24.5m has been allocated for a “special enlightenment campaign on government’s programmes and policies, testimonial series to gauge the impact of government policies on the citizenry.

“Advocacy against fake news, hate speech, farmers-herders clashes, banditry, rape, etc.”

The details also showed that the government would spend  N40m to produce calendars; N30m was voted for external publicity and engagement with foreign media; N20.7m was voted for media interactions by ministers, influencers, and analysts on print and social media.

The government also said it would spend N21.7m on the development of social media platforms and networking with other platforms.

President Bola Tinubu submitted the 2024 appropriation budget to the National Assembly last week.