Home ART & ENTERTAINMENT 200 Civil Society Organizations To Examine Working Of Freedom of Information Act

200 Civil Society Organizations To Examine Working Of Freedom of Information Act

walter-duruNo fewer than two hundred Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) will gather in Abuja and Enugu from Monday, November 28 to critically examine the increased use of Nigeria’s Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
The 2-day Roundtables are being put together by the Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC), in collaboration with the Freedom of Information Coalition-Nigeria, with support from Justice For All (DFID). It is aimed at increasing citizens’ usage of the FOI Act.
Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Freedom of Information Coalition, Nigeria (FICN), Dr. Walter Duru, who spoke to news men in Calabar, capital of Cross River state, said that participants from the Northern part of Nigeria will meet in Abuja, while those from the Southern part of the country will meet in Enugu.
Dr. Duru said that the events are aimed at engaging Media and Civil Society stakeholders across the country on issues relating to increased use and implementation of the FOI Act.
“Recall that Nigeria’s Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was signed into law on May 28, 2011, after the longest legislative debate in the history of Nigeria. The law was passed to enable the public to access information from government and its institutions, in order to ensure transparency and accountability.
“The FOI Act aims to make public records and information more freely available. It enables citizens to hold the government accountable in the event of the misappropriation of public funds or failure to deliver public services. It also seeks to protect serving public officers against any adverse consequences from the disclosure of certain kinds of official information, and to establish procedures for the achievement of these purposes.
“Available statistics show that there is an extremely low usage of the Act in Nigeria by the citizens, especially, Media and Civil Society practitioners.”
It would be recalled that recently, MIIVOC, with support from Justice for All (J4A/DFID) held a 2-day Roundtable for FOI desk officers in Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.
No fewer than one hundred and fifty MDAs were in attendance at the event, held at Olusegun Obasanjo Auditorium in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja. [myad]

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