Minister Tasks Media On FOI Act

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Mr Edem Duke, the Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, on Thursday called on the Nigerian media to disseminate accurate information in their bid to inform the public.

Duke spoke in Abuja at a two-day workshop organised for the National Orientation Agency (NOA) state directors and programme officers.

The workshop on the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, was meant to train the directors on how to sensitise the public on its use in their local languages.

He urged the media to look inward in their effort to give out information, stressing that the media needed to ensure that nothing, but the truth was provided while informing the public.

The minister said that as a public servant he believed in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and supported its full implementation.

He said that the act would achieve its aim, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan's administration was poised to conduct itself in the most transparent manner.

Edem said that not many Nigerians would be able to discuss the content and import of the Act and its relevance to the citizens.

He adviced the agency to take the “bull by the horn'' to ensure its staff members were trained to enlighten other Nigerians.

“I appreciate the efforts of the agency in promoting an enlightened society, which is necessary for the growth and positive development of the Nigerian economy,’’ he said.

The inaugural FOI Act training by the agency for its director and programme officer’s involved those from the Northern states.

The second stage of the training had been slated for Jan. 11 to Jan.12, 2013 for states from the Southern part of the country.

Mr Mike Omeri, the Director-General of the agency, said that the training was significant to the agency as it marked the relationship between the agency and democracy.

He said that the agency was poised to take the FOI Act to all nooks and crannies of the country for the growth of democracy.

Omeri said that the agency would expand its scope in spreading the message in the local languages so that people could comprehend the significant of the Act.

The NOA boss said the Act was not restricted for the use of journalist, stressing that all Nigerians were entitled to the FOI Act .

NAN reports that some media executives were present at the training to enlighten the people on the importance of the FOI Act.

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