14 December 2012

Nigeria: Lead FOI Implementation Campaign, Maku Tells Information Commissioners

The Minister of Information Mr. Labaran Maku has called on Commissioners for Information across the Federation to champion the implementation of Freedom of Information in their respective states.

He made the call in Abuja yesterday while declaring open the 43rd National Council on Information Meeting.

Mr. Maku said that though, some State Houses of Assembly have begun deliberations to enact their own versions of the Freedom of Information Law, such Edicts would be null and void to the extent of their inconsistencies to the Freedom of Information Act passed by the National Assembly and assented to by President Goodluck Jonathan.

He urged them to manage information in such a way that would improve transparency and accountability in governance as well as provide opportunity for people to use public information organs to contribute to the governance process.

Maku noted that democracy differs from military dictatorship through openness and free flow of information to the people so that they would be enlightened citizenry and could engage their leaders constructive as well as express their views in order to promote good governance.

In furtherance of the transformation agenda of the present administration, he said that the Federal Ministry of Information organized a Ministerial Platform for Cabinet Ministers to interact with Nigerians across the world on a multi-media platform to explain the activities and programmes of ministries, departments and agencies.

According to him, it was in the same spirit that the Ministry embarked on a National Good Governance Tour of projects across the country to verify the claims made by Ministers on the Ministerial Platform and held citizens forum in the states visited, which he said provided avenue for robust engagement between citizens and their leaders on governance and the challenges in project implementation.

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