FG: FoIA, Tool for Any Functional Democracy to Thrive

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja 

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of FinanceMrs. Lydia Shehu Jafiya, has described the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) as a tool for any functional democracy to thrive, noting that accurate record keeping and retrieval mechanisms were vital to the successful operation of the Act.

Jafiya spoke in Abuja, Thursday at a one-day workshop on Freedom of Information Act, 2011 for officers on Salary Grade Levels 12 – 14.

She noted that the Act was a tool for any functional democracy to thrive, thereby making it a necessity to communicate the contents to all categories of officers in the Federal Ministry of Finance who are expected to be attentive and utilise the knowledge acquired from the workshop to bear for enhanced service delivery.

Jafiya stressed that accurate record keeping and retrieval mechanisms were vital to the successful operation of the FOIA 2011, adding that the Federal Ministry of Finance had cued into the Electronic Record Management (ERM) system to address any concern.

The Perm Secretary urged young officers of the ministry  to think outside the box, be innovative and embrace digitalisation in order to add value to the services rendered to members of the public.

According to her,  FoIA has been in operation since 2011, adding that the current administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu believes in totality  with the terms of the Act which includes good governance, inclusivity, transparency and accountability. 

She added that the administration was poised to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians and members of the public in carrying out its duties and responsibilities in consonance with the FoIA.

She stated that the ministry was a critical establishment in the implementation of Federal Government’s policies, programmes and activities and as such it was committed to the effective operationalisation of the Act in the management of government finances in the most transparent and accountable manner.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director (Press and Public Relations) in the ministry, Stephen Kilebi, emphasised the need for active participation at the workshop, adding that the effective operationalisation of FoIA 2011 will boost good governance, probity, transparency, accountability and citizens’ participation in governance which are the bedrocks of Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

Kilebi thanked the Minister of Finance and Co-Ordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun; Permanent Secretary, Finance, Lydia Shehu Jafiya; and the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Finance, Okokon Ekanem Udo, for providing the logistics to organise the workshop.

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