From MaduabuchiNmeribeh, Kano
Kano state Governor, Dr.Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has reaffirmed his administration’s readiness to espouse and make effective the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011 with a view to empowering the citizens to participate actively in governance.
According to a Statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, Ganduje reiterated his commitment to the FOI Act during the observation of the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI), usually held on the 28 September annually.
MalamGarba said, “with the signing into the Open Government Partnership (OGP) by the state government, which is a transparency initiative, access to information is one of the pillars of the OGP and hence the Ganduje administration’s commitment to it.”
He added that, “this would also go side by side with the state government’s anti-corruption crusade spearheaded by the Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission, which is fully provided with its requisite without any interference in order to operate in line with its federal sister-agencies.”
The commissioner further stated that, “while the state government has agreed to adopt and implement the FOI Act through the OGP process, its adoption is being subjected to wide consultation and will go through the legislative process and passed into law.”
MalamGarba, who described the FOI Act as the bedrock and foundation of all human rights, urged relevant stakeholders in the state to participate actively in the drive towards operationalizing the Act.
While describing the media as one of the most vibrant institution in the management of information flow, he assured that Kano state government under Ganduje’sadministration, “will not stifle press freedom.”
MalamGarba pointed out that, “apart from the fact that it derives its powers to function directly from the nation’s constitution, the Nigerian media has come a long way,” adding that, “there was need for the media to ensure a high level of responsible journalism in the collective interest of our nation.”
He, however, called for continuous capacity building for media practitioners so that they can play their important role more effectively.