The managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Christian Oboh, has assured stakeholders and the general public of the agency’s readiness to comply with the Freedom of Information act.
This according to him, will enable anyone have the opportunity to seek and get information on the true state of affairs in the commission.
He said this while speaking at a one-day sensitisation and enlightenment training, on the FOI Act, for the management staff of the institution.
He explained that the training was part of efforts to create effective channels for the exchange of information with its key stake holders.
“The FOI act has ushered in a new dawn in the quest for transparency and accountability,” he said.
Mr Oboh stressed that the policy thrust of the NDDC was in tandem with objectives of the FOI Act and indeed all government’s policies that promote democracy.
According to the NDDC boss, everyone in the region have a right to know what goes on in the commission, especially as it concerns monitoring of projects.
He also noted that with the opportunity provided by the FOI Act, it would no longer be acceptable for people to be peddling unverified information about the activities of the commission.
He said that the commission found it necessary to train its management staff to get them fully abreast of the provisions of the FOI Act, so as to facilitate a seamless exchange of information between the NDDC and the public.
Also speaking at the event, the legal officer of the Africa programme, Open Society Justice Initiative, Maxwell Kadiri, x-rayed the duties and obligations of public institutions and their officials under the act.
He noted that challenges to the effective implementation of the act in public institutions could be traced to the culture of secrecy in the public service.
A lecturer at the Nasarawa State University, Profesor Ebele Amali, while presenting her paper said that information disclosure adds social, economic and political value to any nation.
She advised the agency to use benefits of the FOI Act to reduce the animosity that had built up in those who were not properly informed about the activities of the commission.