The Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr. Joe Abah has said that access to information is a human right and that the rights have been domesticated in the African continent by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which promotes the rights to seek and receive information within the law.
Dr. Abah made these remarks at the opening ceremony of the training workshop on the Freedom of Information Act for staff of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms from grade levels 12 and above organised by a Non-Governmental organization, Right to know (R2K) in Abuja on Wednesday June 10th 2015. He revealed that Nigeria joined more than 90 Countries of the World in enacting FOI Act in 2011 and that with the quest for improved governance in Nigeria, the FOI presents an excellent opportunity to increase the accountability of Public Servants to the populace, including the media, civil society organisations and individual citizens. He added that the proper use of the FOI will also curb the tendency for impunity in those that exercise state power.
He concluded by showering encomiums on of R2K because according to him the free training is a good example of how civil society can collaborate with government, non-adversarially in pursuit of common objectives.
The one-day workshop on FOI dwelt on understanding key elements of FOI, implications for all public institutions, possible challenges and existing global comparative jurisprudence on FOI.