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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Kaduna group root for FoI bill domestication, tasks El-rufai, Kaduna Assembly

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Kaduna group root for FoI bill domestication, tasks El-rufai, Kaduna Assembly

The Transparency and Accountability in Totality Initiative (TinT) the mother organization of FollowTaxes has called on the State Government and House of Assembly to fast track the passage of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill to allow it to be domesticated in the State.“We are calling on the residents of Kaduna State, the Kaduna State Government, and Honorable Members of the State House of Assembly to fast-track the domestication of this Bill.” The group said.

TinT, at a Press Conference on Monday stated that domestication of the FOI Act was part of the milestone of the OGP commitment on Access to Information in the First State Action Plan (SAP, 2018-2020), which was not achieved.

According to Senior Communications and Partnership Leader, Jamila Mohammed Dahiru, it is on record that Kaduna State government is making concerted effort towards the domestication of the Act over the years, but the Bill is still at it’s second reading.

Jamila explained that if the Bill is domesticated it will enhance access to public information, protect public records on ground of public interest and personal privacy, as well as protect public officers who provides such information.

She disclosed that “We have since the start of the project made several advocacies to relevant stakeholders including state (Executive and Legislature) and non-state actors and sincere commitments have been made by the stakeholders on working alongside us to achieve the commitment.”

“The domestication of this Act is important because it gives room to openness, transparency and accountability in government and strengthen the democratic structure with the end result of creating values. This is one of the cores values the current administration intends to achieve, as it also fulfils the components of the OGP which the state is a signatory to.” She said.

“The domestication Bill titled ‘A Bill for a Law to make Public records and information available to protect records, information, personal privacy, and serving public officers in Kaduna State’ was first submitted to the State House of Assembly in 2018. After second reading, it was sent back to effect some correction which was done, and re-submitted to the house for consideration in 2019.

“The Kaduna State Government joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in the year 2016 as part of its commitment to promote accountability, transparency and citizens’ engagement in governance, hence concerted efforts were made to institutionalize OGP principles in all the sectors of the state integral part of this effort is strengthening and actualizing public’s right to access information as empowered by the Freedom of Information Act at the national level which is in the process of domestication in Kaduna state. She added.

TinT, is currently implementing Strengthening Civil Society and Local Engagement Activity (SCALE) project aimed at advocating and supporting both state and non-state actors towards the domestication of the Freedom of Information Act in Kaduna State, in collaboration with Gatefield, a project funded by USAID through Palladium in Nigeria.

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