The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is one of the government’s agencies that comply with the Freedom of Information Act, according to the Head of the Port Harcourt zonal of the commission, Aliyu Naibi.
Naibi stated this in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at a Roundtable Meeting organised by the National Orientation Agency, NOA, on “Promoting Transparency, Accountability and Stewardship in Governance through Understanding and Application of Freedom of Information.”
He was represented by Barrister Celestina Okorie.
He said, “on a daily basis, we receive requests from individuals and organizations to practically find out what we are all about and what we are doing. In all honesty, I would say that the EFCC is one of the government’s agencies that fully comply with the Freedom of Information Act. We will continue to do more in the course of fighting corruption.”
Explaining the rationale for the Roundtable meeting, Rivers State Director of the National Orientation Agency, Young. M. Ayotamuno, said that citizen’s involvement in the anti- corruption crusade could only be effective if they have unfettered access to information needed to “institutionalise transparency and accountability amongst all”.
To achieve this and ensure that enough awareness is created widely among Nigerians, he disclosed that the FOI Act 2011 has been translated into 25 languages, making it possible for people at the grassroots to key into the provisions of the Act.
Several presentations were made at the Roundtable meeting. One of them was the submission of Prince Ezegubo, Executive Director, Social Action, on the“Comprehension and Application of the Freedom of Information Act 2011”.
According to him, “Information is necessary for development and I appeal to the Federal government to reach out to remote areas and disseminate information that concerns the people.”
He further explained that: “The Act is for disclosure purposes, to make information available to those that need it. In most cases, information is not directed properly because it is hanging in the air. It is not enough to have Roundtables but for resolutions made to be implemented in every aspect”.
The meeting was attended by officials of the EFCC, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Code of Conduct Bureau, Civil Society Groups and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC.
Others are: Rivers State Commissioner of Information, Rivers State Attorney- General and Commissioner of Justice, and the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State