By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Fake news and rumours will thrive until government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are open to the members of the public by respecting Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and be transparent in their operations.
The Akwa Ibom Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Enoh Uyoh, said this during a One-Day Advocacy/Sensitisation workshop on Freedom of Information Act (FOI) in Uyo on Wednesday.
Uyoh said that the FOI Act was created to make government including its agencies and parastatals transparent and accountable to the citizens.
“We have offices, to what extent do we practice this FOI Act? The situation we are finding ourselves at the state level, nationally and individually is not working the way it supposed to be because government operates on secrecy.
“Every institution operates on secrecy, you can work in an Establishment, Ministry or Department and you would not know many things that are going on in that institution.
“We have refused to open up and people are peddling unfounded fake news. Why are information and certain action shrouded in secrecy and people would not know? Freedom of Information Act is good, but to what extent has it been implemented?
The State Director commended the Buhari-led administration for further signing on to Open Government Partner (OPG) in the fight against corruption.
He also praised the administration for allowing criticisms from Non Governmental Organisations like SERAP, MC Author Foundation without suppression.
“This government is trying to see how we can check corruption that is why they have signed into Open Government Partnership (OGP). This has been the only administration that allows Civil Societies and Non Governmental Organisations to criticize its activities unchallenged.