The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture has budgeted N336 m to campaign against hate speech and fake news .
This is contained in the 2021 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly by the President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd . ), on Thursday .
It reads in part, “ ERGP 9124023 Special enlightenment campaign on government policies and programmes ; testimonial series to gauge impact of government policies on the citizenry , advocacy against fake news , hate speech , farmers- herder clashes , banditry , rape etc. ongoing- N336 , 015 ,959 . ”
The Federal Government has recently put in place several strict measures to tackle hate speech and fake news amid criticisms from rights groups that it is a ruse to stifle free speech .
The National Broadcasting Commission had recently amended the Broadcast Code, hiking the fine for hate speech from N500 , 000 to N5 m , a move which has been challenged in court .
A bill which imposes death penalty on “ any person found guilty of any form of hate speech that results in the death of another person is currently before the Senate .
Tagged “ National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches ” , the bill is sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate , Abdullahi Aliu Sabi (APC , Niger State ).