Today, National Orientation Agency (NOA) organized a Roundtable Discussion for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Desk Officers from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Corporations with a view to deepening access to information to promote accountability in governance.
The Agency is in the fore front in area of promoting understanding of the provisions of the FOI Act which became in 2011. Sections of the Act give rights to anyone who seeks clarification, information & accountability in Ministries, Depts & Agencies (MDAs) including corporations.
To this end, NOA has been able to translate FOI Act into 23 Nigerian languages of Igbo, Yoruba & Hausa in addition to others which include: Efik, Ibibio, Kanuri, Fufulde, Idoma, Atyab, Alago, Bachama among others. It’s an effort for socio-cultural inclusion and participation.
“FOIA is a tool employed by citizens to ask questions on financial related issues and other matters concerning operations of the MDAs across the country. I urge Nigerians to make use of the FOIA provisions in compliance with the anti-corruption fight,” said DG NOA, Dr. Garba Abari in his opening address.
He explained further that:” This time, NOA is organizing this edition for FoI Desk Officers in those organization for which last edition was organized. We want to be sure that both CEOs and FoI Desk Officers are not at variance with regards to provisions and applications of the FoI Act (2011).”
Dr. Abari reiterated that FOIA is a vital tool in the hands of Nigerians,adding that the gathering was meant to criss cross ideas, peer review mechanisms of the provisions of the FOI Act. He reminded participants that forthnight ago, NOA organized similar gathering for the Chief Executives of various organizations.
In his welcome address, the Director, Reforms Coordination & Service Imprisonment (RCSI), Mr. Elisah Sabo said FOIA is a vital tool that NOA uses to promote citizens engagement with MDAs and Corporations on accountability.
In her presentation titled NOA FOIA STRIDES, NOA FOIA Committee Chairman, Barr. Juliet ACHEBE said NOA is the promoter of FoI Act in Nigeria. That the Agency has succeeded in printing the provisions of the FoI Act into 23 Nigerian languages for ease of access and participation.
Rhe event also witnessed some Desk Officers sharing their respective experience and success story about FOIA application. It also provided for robust interaction among participants.
SITUATION ROOM TEAM