AS part of efforts in PROMOTING TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND STEWARDSHIP IN GOVERNANCE through The UNDERSTANDING and APPLICATION of Freedom Of Information ACT (FoIA) 2011 The National Orientation Agency at the 18TH roundtable Engagement of the agency held in Port Harcourt says since the enactment of the the ACTS the agency is not relenting in ensuring that it carries out it responsibility of leading Citizens engagement and empowering commitment to the 2ND Action plan of of the open government partnership in addition to publicity of the FOI Acts 2011
The state director of NOA YOUNG TAMUNO says the aim of the Round table is to further sensitise and create awareness among critical information and communication stakeholders on the application of the Freedom of Information Act(FOIA)2011 which was signed into law by the National Assembly on May 27TH 2011 and assented by Former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on28TH MAY 2011
Barr Young Tamuno also said the Freedom of the Information Act is aimed at expanding the space for active citizens participation in Governance, thus deepening democratic practice. It is also intended to institutionalize transparency and accountability in public and relevant private institutions , which the ultimate objective is put citizens on the driver’s seat in the anti-corruption war, in order that it outlives any particular individual or administration.
he said the NOA five year strategic plan 2018 stated that Already 2800 officers and volunteers have been trained on provision of FoIA while over 900 community Dialogue and Theatre for Development TFD Sessions have been held in 146 Local Government areas in 9PILOT STATE namely LAGOS, OYO, EBONYI, KADUNA, PLATEAU, GOMBE, RIVERS, ANAMBRA AND FCT. and that the ACT have also been translated into twenty indigenous Languages
Also speaking at the NOA Roundtable on the comprehension and Application of the Freedom Of Information Act 2021, The lead discussant and the Executive Director Social action PRINCE EKPERE EZEGUBO in his presentation on Comprehension and application of the FoIA attributed lack of information as parts of the major issues causing the security unrest in the country., He said citizens view Government officials as ripping them off from the from their collectective treasury, and that most times the Government official runs public affairs without the peoples participation.
He said PROACTIVE DISCLOSURE means that in the comfort of your house house you should be able to open your phone and have access to information you seek without physically going out or to climb the 12th floor of the podium or point block of the Secretariat to either get any information you need, He said one mustn’t step out to or go to ministry of information to ask to get the FOIA when it should be at the click of your fingers or having data on your phone’.
Mr EPKERE Noted that the new Global Alliance of OGP (Open Government Partnership) respects the right to free speech, Lawful and responsible expression of thoughts, Questions and answers, as part of the rudiments to fundamental human rights leading to successful practice of democracy and good governance; He also urged the Rivers State Government to be more open with government policies and engagements. while noting that lack of information on how a government is run breeds Suspicions, hatred and distrust.