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Groups condemn poor application of FOI Act


Non-governmental organisations under the aegis of Coalition and Network of Civil Society groups, have condemned the low application of the Freedom of Information, Act (FOI) by Nigerians.

In the event organized by the J4ALL, in collaboration with the British Council, the Programme Director, Dr. Bob Anort, represented by the Anti corruption Component Programme Manager of the group, Emma Uche, said increased effort should be applied to actualize the over 12 years effort that culminated in signing the bill into law five years ago.

A lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Dr. Isabella Ada Eze; Prof. Emmam Owums- Owuamalam; an international resource person, Dr. Cephas Lerewonu; Dr. Walter Duru, Executive Director of the MIVOC; Emeka Ononamadu, the National Coordinator Publish What You Pay, Nigeria and Executive Director of CCIDESOR; a University teacher, Prof. Des Wilson, all added their voices , calling on more adherence through sensitization, advocacy and awareness, among others to actualuze the FOI Act usage.

In another development, a former national director of Publish What You Pay Nigeria (PWYP), Nigeria, David Ugolor, has called for the publication of revenues all oil and gas institutions pay into the coffers according to the law. This, he said would ensure transparency and accountability in the system.

Ugorlor, who is also the Executive Director of the Africa Network for Environment Economic Justice (ANEEJ), stated this recently at the opening of the two -day Annual General Meeting (AGM), of the group comprising of about 200 Coalition of Civil Society (CSOs), group, held at Rock View Hotels, Owerri.

Meanwhile, delegates at the AGM, have elected Mr. Emeka Ononamadu, the hitherto, Southeast zone Cordinator and Executive Director of Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESSOR), as the new national coordinator of the PWYPN. He emerged a winner in the keenly contested position and thanked his colleagues for electing him, promising to lead the international body well.

Similarly, a coalition of Civil Society groups has called for a quick passage of the bill on reduction of age for persons seeking for various electoral positions in the country, sponsored by a member of the House of Representatives, Tony Nwulu. The group also endorsed the issue of independent candidacy aspect of the bill.

The meeting held at the instance of the Programme Director of Development Dynamics (DD), Jude Ohanele, a teacher at the Imo State University.

Ohanele said the bill titled ‘An Act to alter the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and for other matters connected therewith’ , about persons seeking to peg (miminum) elective offices at the age of 30, in the case of the presidency, governorship and senate; age of 25, in the case of the House of Representatives, amending section 65 (2), referred to as ‘Altteration Bill, 2016’, was in order.

He said the proposal for any one seeking to be elected into the State House of Assembly at the age of 25, was also proper, stressing that in developed countries, young ones at their youthful ages, performed creditably in their offices.

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