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Monday, December 07, 2015

Nigerians urged to embrace FOI Act



Nigerians have been urged to embrace the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to stimulate transformation of the country, reports ITRealms.

FOI Act, ITRealms recalls was signed into law four years ago in 2011 by the former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

Making this calls were advocates of FOI Act in the country including former chairman of Lagos State Council of Nigerian Union of Journalist and director of International Press Centre (IPC) Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Dr. Walter Duru of FOI Coalition of Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Ononumadu of the Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights, Owerri, Imo State among others at the commencement of a two-day roundtable on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) Compliance with the FOI Act on Monday in Lagos.

Addressing participants on ‘A critical analysis of the FOI Act in Nigeria and Strategies for engaging public institutions,’ Mr. Arogundade enjoined Nigerians especially the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and particularly the media to embrace the use of FOI Act in the country.

For Dr. Walter Duru, who dwelt on ‘FOI Act and Nigeria’s Anti-Graft War,’ said that the Act encourages transparency, stressing that transparency is a great disincentive against corruption.

He also asked participants to endeavor to identify with FOI Coalition in Nigeria by keying into the FOI implementation strategies, even as he canvassed quarterly review meeting of stakeholders on the use of FOI in extracting public information.

Mr. Ononumadu told participants in his paper entitled ‘Nigeria’s FOI Act: Opportunities and challenges’ insisting that issue of FOI concerns every Nigerian and also described it as the best of the Act that came from President Jonathan, which President Olusegun Obasanjo before him, could not accent to.

“FOI is the best of the Act that came from GEJ, which Obasanjo refused to sign for 8 years. After the Nigerian constitution, stressing however that any law that is not tested is not a law.


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