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February 27, 2024
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Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice

Fagbemi tasks MDAs on proactive sharing of public information

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By Ebere Agozie

Justice Minister, Lateef Fagbemi has called on Ministries, Departments and Agencies to adopt proactive method in disclosure of information to ensure transparency in implementing access to information.

Fagbemi made the call on Thursday at an event in commemoration of the International Day For Universal Access to Information (IDUAI).

He said that the proactive disclosures by MDAs will enhance the implementation of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act of 2011.

He added that the event with the theme: ‘The Importance of the Online Space For Access To Information’ was timely as the world yearn for the release of accurate information without being asked for it.

“The right to access Information held by public authorities recognized by the international community fundamental, not only is a means to protect other rights, including democracy, but to also support sustainable development”.

The Federal Government enacted the Freedom of Information act to make public records and information more freely available, provide for public access to public records and information, protect public records and information to the extent consistent with the public interest.

“It also protects personal privacy, serving public officers from adverse consequences of disclosing certain kinds of official information without authorisation and establish procedures for the achievement of those purposes.

‘When MDA’s periodically publish their data on their websites, t increases the flow of information from government to the public and limits the need for formal applications under the FOI Act.

“The adoption of proactive disclosure measures also assists the MDA in reducing time and resources spent in reviewing Individual requests.

“It demonstrates government’s commitment to transparency, openness and accountability, which in turn increases public confidence in government Initiatives and actions”.

Also speaking, the Head of FOI Unit of the ministry, Mr Garuba Godwin cited that Section II stipulates forty ((40) classes of records and information must be proactively disclosed by all public Institution.

“Section 2 (4) FOIA also encourage proactive disclosure by mandating public institution to ensure that information is widely disseminated to people through print, electronic, Online etc,” Godwin said.

Mrs Faith Nwadibhi, Executive Director, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) and Mr Stanley Achonu, Country Director, ONE Campaign were among the CSOs actors that dissected the processes and enlightened participants at the event. (NAN)

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edited by Sadiya Hamza
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