Abuja: January 31, 2017: All government agencies have been advised to embrace full Implementation of the Freedom of Information Act as an important tool to push the anti –corruption campaign to nooks and cranies of the public service.
The Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr Joe Abah made the appeal in Abuja while speaking at a ceremony to unveil the FOI portal and the new website of NEITI. The website was designed by R2K, a Non-Governmental Organization with the support of MacArthur Foundation to promote implementation and compliance with the Freedom of Information Act.
Dr Abah stated that the steps taken so far by NEITI to make its operations open, efficient and accountable were consistent with the on-going public service reforms within FGN’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The website which is FOI compliant is expected to serve as a model to all government agencies in responding to public inquiries on their operations and services to the citizens.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of (R2K) Right to Know and a former member of the House of Representatives,Honorable Uche Onyeagucha identified institutional secrecy as major obstacles to Nigeria’s development. He said that open access to information is a major tool for free speech, freedom of association and citizens participation in governance, transparency and accountability. He commended the federal government’s initiative for the introduction of Bank Verification Number (BVN) noting that, it has added tremendous value in reducing illicit financial transactions.