THE Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2011 is oxygen that drives effective practice of true federalism, constitutional democracy and good governance in the world.
State Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Anambra State Directorate, Charles Nwoji, made the submission during a programme organised by the agency in Awka.
The NOA Director, whose speech centred on “NOA and good governance, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2011,ending open defecation in Nigeria and the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic”, challenged those in the corridors of power in Nigeria to work towards impacting positively on the lives of the people they represent in government.
Noting that the FOIA gave Nigerians the inalienable rights to seek information in the public institutions across the country, the NOA boss emphasised that the act was designed to promote probity, accountability, transparency, and total fight against corruption in public offices.
Nwoji, who further spoke on the difference between the FOIA, hate speech as well as freedom of press, challenged the people to always hold those in government accountable for how public funds are being managed, saying that NOA has before today, conducted a pilot study on the efficacy of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 in 146 local government areas across Nigeria.
He also stated that the agency has equally translated the act into 33 Nigerian languages in the country, pointing out that the agency uses the media, religious leaders, traditional rulers, and presidents-general as some of the veritable stakeholders in propagating the message of the FOIA to the larger society.
On the issue of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the NOA Director, urged the people to continue to protect themselves from contracting the dreaded virus, adding that it currently affects one in any two persons in America on daily basis.
In his remarks, the Deputy Director, Programmes, NOA, Awka, Sir Joseph Uchendu, harped on the importance of promoting good governance in a country like Nigeria with a view to building a solid foundation for true federalism and constitutional democracy to thrive
Also, the Deputy Director, Administration, NOA, Awka , Mrs. Ijeoma Nzewi ,urged the people to wake up from relaxing their guard against the spread of COVID-19 now, during and after Christmas celebration in the state to ensure that the second wave of the pandemic will not hit the state as it does presently in the developed world.