Ministries, departments and agencies in Nigeria are always reluctant to provide information on their operations to journalists and other Nigerians seeking such information.
They have always found excuses in the outdated official secrecy act or a tradition of not making government information public.
The Secrecy Act, they say protects the government especially from sensitive information that could be misused.
In Abuja on Tuesday, the National Orientation Agency, NOA made a move towards openness and transparency in the governance process by organizing a stakeholders’ dialogue, where it was revealed that the Freedom of Information Act, FOIA has been transcribed from English and produced in the three major Nigerian languages, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and twenty other indigenous languages.
The Director General NOA, Garba Abari said the stakeholders dialogue was implemented between citizens and government to promote openness, accountability and good governance in Nigeria. He said that the FOI is the best tool ever produced to fight corruption in Nigeria.
Also speaking at the event, the Chief Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission Chile Igbawua, noted that the commission has an FOI desk where people could lay complaints online, and adding that the FOI has helped reduce the level of impunity.
Other dignitaries at the event also commented on FOI Act urging Nigerians to take advantage of the new translations and enrich themselves with the benefits of the Freedom of Information Act.