Elites Network for Sustainable Development ENetSuD, a Kwara-based Civil Society Organization, has written the Kwara State House of Assembly to lobby for the domestication of Freedom of Information (FOI) Act in Kwara State.
In a letter addressed to Rt. Hon. Ali Ahmad, Speaker of the House, ENetSuD stated that the act would help in making activities of the state transparent and make the government accountable to the people.
Dr. Alagbonsi Abdullateef, Coordinator of ENetSud and Barr. Luqman Raji, Director of Legal Services, in the letter also explained that the non-domestication of the act has given government agencies an excuse for turning down information on projects funds have been released for.
The letter stated that “its extensive tracking of the Federal Government Capital and Constituency projects in Kwara State is possible due to the availability of FOI Act, which is a Law of the Federation. ENetSuD said that it has found it very difficult to track Kwara State Government (KWSG)-funded projects due to the fact that FOI Act has not yet been domesticated in the State, as that is the usual excuse given by KWSG to deny information requested on projects.”
The project tracking group highlighted the importance of the FOI act as: “making public records and information more freely available; providing for public access to public records and information; protecting public records and information to the extent consistent with the public interest and the protection of personal privacy.”
Others mentioned are: protecting serving public officers from adverse consequences of disclosing certain kinds of official information without authorization; and establishing procedures for the achievement of those purposes and for related matters.”