By Ignatius Ushie
To further deepen the federal government’s policy of accessibility to public records and information, the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice, recently organized a one-day sensitization seminar on The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2011 for Deputy and Assistant General Managers of the agency.
According to the Director-General/CEO of the agency who was represented by the Director of Human Resources Management and Administration, Alhaji Saleh Tukur Yusuf, implementation of the FOI Act will undoubtedly bring openness, accountability and good goverance which would in turn greatly minimize corruption in public service.
“One of the key ingredients that portrays an institution as being responsive and adhering to the FOIA, is the operation of an open government policy. Under my watch, NiMet has been observing the provisions of the FOIA, by organizing monthly press briefing, where journalists ask questions on the operations and general administration of the agency”, he highlighted.
In a paper presentation, the head of the FOI unit in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Godwin Garuba, who reeled out the implications and punitive actions to be meted to federal government organizations for refusal to release requested information, commended the DG NiMet and the FOIA Desk officer in NiMet, Mrs. Theresa Ushie, Deputy General Manager, Public Relations for adhering to the FOI Act by proactively disclosing information through press releases, regular updates on social media amongst other strategies employed by the organization.
The Freedom of Information Act, 2011 sensitization seminar held by NiMet is the second batch as the first event organized last year was for top management staff of the organization. This event would be further cascaded to other categories of staff in the agency.