Stakeholders Stress Need For More Awareness On FOI Act

Participants at a stakeholders meeting on the Freedom of Information, FOI Act have advocated adequate sensitization campaign on the application of the act to enable members of the public make their political officeholders accountable.

The programme organized by the Oyo State Directorate of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, which had in attendance stakeholders from ministries, department and agencies was organized to evaluate the successes of the act and its impact on national development.

While some of the stakeholders blamed the inadequacies in the implementation of FOI act on lack of awareness, ignorance, faulty judicial processes and long bureaucracy involved in accessing government information, others believed Nigerians needed more reorientation on their nonchalant attitude to laws and government policies. 

They also suggested that a desk office is created in all MDAs that will take care of the requests from members of the public on government information for easy access. 

A cross-section of stakeholders at the sensitisation programme

In an address, Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun who reiterated the determination of the Governor Seyi Makinde-led-administration to be more accountable, said the state government would soon embark on Stakeholders Town-Hall meetings geared towards disseminating government programmes as well as receiving people’s opinion and needs in their communities. 

Dr Olatunbosun noted that no meaningful development can take place in any society if leaders are not accountable to their followers. 

While highlighting some clauses in the FOI act passed into law in 2011, a resource person, Miss Tirenioluwa Ibitoye said though every Nigerian has the right to Freedom of Information, there are certain exemptions to the act especially on information that may jeopardize the operations of security agencies or injurious to the development of the country. 

Earlier in a welcome address, the state director NOA, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu said the agency will continue to sensitize the public on key provisions of the FOI act and how it can be used to promote good governance. 

The agency also used the opportunity of the stakeholders meeting to sensitize participants on preventive measures against the spread of coronavirus. 

Mosope Kehinde

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