COVID-19: NCDC Did Not spend N1billion on SMS to Educate Nigerians

CLAIM: On April 8, 2020, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a screenshot of a news headline claiming that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had spent One billion Naira on SMS sent to Nigerians as part of its enlightenment program on Coronavirus.
The Headline read ‘’ Breaking: We have Spent 1b naira on SMS just to educate Nigerians – NCDC” trended on microblogging site, Twitter and Facebook.

FACT: Our findings show that the screenshot is from a fake news site, Reporters Press NG, which thrives on clickbait. The site was created on February 8, 2020 with several unverified claims and headlines.In addition, the NCDC has debunked the news. Reacting to the viral headline, the NCDC posted on its official twitter account, that “While communication through SMS is a key part of our #COVID19 response strategy, this has been largely provided as in-kind support by Airtel Nigeria, MTN Nigeria and Globacom Nigeria’’

CONCLUSION: NCDC never spent N1 billion on SMS to educate Nigerians as claimed by the screenshot circulating on the Internet. According to the Centre, SMS is part of the contribution of the three major mobile network providers in Nigeria. CDD is urging members of the public to verify every information before sharing especially relating to COVID-19.

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