The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC) has urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to have Freedom of Information (FOI) Act in their various offices for effective fight against corruption.
This was the message from two days training by ROLAC, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice, British Council and the European Union on Thursday in Abuja.
Mr Walter Duru, Chairman, FOI Coalition, in his paper presentation, said that people needed an improved understanding of the act as the vital tool to curb corruption in the society.
Duru, who gave an overview of the 2011 FOI Act, said that every citizen was qualified to seek information, irrespective of professional discipline.
According to him, FOI seeks to make public officers accountable for their official actions and establish the right to take legal action to compel compliance, to facilitate record keeping for public scrutiny and promote a descent democratic society.
Duru called on public servants in high positions to make accountability their guiding principle in service to people.
Speaking on security, Mr Longe Ayode, Secretary, FOI Coalition, advised FOI desk officers in MDAs not to be careless in giving out certain information.
Ayode also called on public servants to be open while in governance, liaise with civil society groups and be security conscious when blowing a whistle about public information.
“If you want to blow any whistle, look for civil society groups and give them the information in details because the source has to be protected.
“If we have the passion of using the FOI Act, we will all overcome corruption in the country and make governance transparent.
“Our culture has a high level of corruption tolerance, people take governance as a personal business, but without citizens’ participation, there is no way we can fight corruption.
“If we want the country to survive, all hands must be on deck because there is need for stakeholder collaboration.
NIGERIA NEWS reports that the FOI Act seeks to entrench transparency to aid the fight against corruption.