Editorial Team

Emmanuel Udom-Managing Editor, Stephen Dijo Philemon-Deputy Editor, Janet Udom-Senior Correspondent, Precious Udom-Senior Correspondent, Williams Ita-Bureau Chief(Akwa Ibom/Cross River), Fabian Idoko-Senior Correspondent

    Manufacturer's Representative Import Export General Merchandise Contract Adress: Araromi Quarters, Owode Area, Ifo, Ogun state, Nigeria P.O.Box 2632, Oshiodi, Lagos Telephone: 2348166719412

    Thursday, 6 October 2016

    FOI Act and anti-corruption war in Nigeria

                                                                                                       Photo: google 

    The Freedom of Information, (FOI) Act is universal in nature. It empowers people to use it in obtaining information from any government agency, ministry or parastatal.
    In Nigeria, the Act was eventually signed into law on May 28, 2011, by former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
    Those who think the FOI Act is for journalists alone are not correct. It is for everyone, regardless of his or her profession or vocation.
    Therefore, administrators, business persons, artisans, writers, farmers, job seekers, activists, students, women, men, etc, can use it to legally obtain information from any government agency, anywhere in the world.
    The FOI Act is about openness, accountability, transparency, sincerity and truthfulness in governance.
    The anti-corruption war of the Nigerian government is on. President Muhammed Buhari is determined to recover looted funds from past corrupt leaders.
    I am not trying to be unpatriotic here. But, I do know as a Nigerian that corruption in my beloved country is endemic.
    Therefore, if the anti-corruption move of the president is successful, poor and ordinary persons in Nigeria, who are presently living below $1 a day will benefit. Social amenities could be provided by government.
    There are more than 800 government agencies, parastatals and ministries, operating in our country. Regrettably, most of these agencies are still operating in secrecy.
    Most of them do not have a staff designated as FOI officer, or units or sections that assist people in obtaining information or records on their operations.
    For those interested in obtaining information or records on procurement, accountability, or tracking revenues and income profiles, it has been quite hectic and frustrating.
    Most websites of government agencies in Nigeria have stall or outdated information or records. They are technically dead, so to say.
    This is where Buhari should come in and encourage these agencies to open up on their information, records and operations to any interested person or group.
    The anti-corruption war could be easily won if a peasant farmer in a remote village in Akwa Ibom state, south-east Nigeria for instance, is able to track government expenditures on farmers in the entire state, with little or no stress.
    Nigerian government has told the public that it has recovered billions in local and foreign currencies, allegedly stolen by some past corrupt politicians. It is difficult to track monies recovered so far.
    Every month, the office of the accountant-general of the federation publishes money released to all the 36 states from the federation account in Nigeria.
    But, this does not translate to good roads, steady power supply, enough schools, hospitals and other social amenities to citizens at the grassroots.
    Emmanuel Udom is editor of http://www.vicnuel.blogspot.com.ng. He is a teacher, journalist, researcher, private investigator. Udom is also senior correspondent with http://www.independentnig.com

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9476276

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