EconomyFact CheckPolitics

Altered news images about Tinubu’s NYSC allowance reduction, trends on WhatsApp

Claim: Several graphics shared on users’ WhatsApp statuses claimed that President Bola Tinubu plans to reduce the monthly allowance allocated to members of the Nigerian Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Verdict: The information is false. The newly inaugurated President made no such statement.

Full Text

Months after his victory at the February 2023 general election, President Bola Tinubu was sworn into office on May 29 to succeed Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s 5th democratically elected president since 1999.

But the country currently battles economic crises on different fronts due to Buhari’s activities while in office, leaving the nation in heavy debts that have never been recorded in the nation’s history.

To cushion the effect and steady the tides, one of the first announcements the newly-inaugurated president made was the abolition of the fuel subsidy, which plunged the nation into panic barely hours into the start of his administration. 

This, perhaps, influenced beliefs that he also reduced the monthly allowance received by corps members in the country from N33,000 during the previous administration in 2020 to N25,000, as seen in this picture.

A screenshot of the picture.

The images posted on WhatsApp statuses had some authenticity elements, as the graphics were designed like ‘breaking news’ from a broadcast organisation. Another example is shown below.

However, closer attention to Tinubu’s inauguration revealed that he made no such statement in his speech. To clear the air, we decided to verify the source of the graphics.

Verification

After critically assessing the pictures, we discovered one common trait: the watermark on both graphics. The watermark reads, “breakyourownnews.com,” which indicates a website where users can alter a news article for mischievous purposes.

DUBAWA also ran a keyword search using the watermark’s words, which led us to a fact-check of a claim that used a similar tool. 

Also, a transcript of Tinubu’s inaugural speech that we obtained revealed no such information. Neither did credible media organisations report that the president made such a statement.

Also, such information does not exist on his social media or other related stakeholders.

Conclusion

President Tinubu has not stated that he plans to reduce the monthly allowance given to members of the NYSC. Therefore, the claim is false.

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