BY IKHILI EBALU, BENIN CITY
Stakeholders in Edo State, Nigeria have advocated for speedy passage of the Domesticating of Freedom Of Information (FOI) Act so as to enable individuals have access to every information in the state.
The roundtable discussion which took place at Edo State ANEEJ Secretariat, Benin City, Edo State involved media practitioners and CSOs and was organised by Gatefield Organization in collaboration with United State Agency for International Development (USAID, Palladium (Make it Possible) and Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE).
In his presentations which duel on Overview of FOI Act, Duties and Obligations of Public Institutions Under the FOI Act, Mr. Innocent Edemharia who represented Gatefield Organization recalled efforts made by stakeholders in the state in prevailing on Edo State government the need for urgent forward of the bill to Edo State House of Assembly.
He said that during the first administration of Mr. Godwin Obaseki, stakeholder in Edo state went round some ministry in the state for their contribution to ensuring that urgent step is taken to domesticate FOI Law in Edo State.
In conclusion of his presentation, Mr. Edemharia articulated the right of citizens which include, “The FOI Act is a Citizens’ driven law and the citizens must take advantage of the Act to hold to government accountable,
“Citizen should look around their environment, you must see something wrong,
“We must learn to ask relevant questions and hold our institutions accountable,
“The FOI Act is a ready tool for Social Audit and we must take advantage of itself properly implemented, the FOI Act can change the nation’s story of woes and entrench an era of good and All hands must be on deck!”