Rivers State NOA Takes FOI Awareness Campaign To Rural Communities

By Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt

Mr. Oliver Wolubom, Rivers State Director, National Orientation Agency today said his office has trained NOA Local Government coordinators in the state on ways to create awareness in the rural areas on the important of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

Wolubom made this statement at the state secretariat of NOA in Port Harcourt during a one day   round table discussion   with stakeholders which were drawn from government, private sector and the civil society.

Speaking on the theme of the discussion “Understanding the Provision of the Freedom of Information Act” Wolubom, said the agency was fully prepared to ensure that those in the rural communities understand that they have the right to information in Nigeria.

He said: “We have decided that even if it is to speak native languages and Pidgin English to make sure that those at the rural areas understand the importance of the Act, we will make that sacrifice because the FOI Act is a major landmark in our democracy.

“I want to call on Nigerian Journalists to keep alive the spirit during the campaign for the passage of FOI bill by using their profession to create awareness to people because regular publication on the understanding of FOI Act will change the psyche of the public.”

Responding, the State Commissioner for Information Ibim Sementari who spoke through a Director in the Ministry Mr. Paul Nsirim said the State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi was fully in support of the NOA plan for awareness campaign on FOI Act.

The Commissioner however called on the stakeholders in the state to support NOA on their plan for awareness campaign on FOI Act to achieve maximum goal. Meanwhile, those who attended the programme include government officials, representative of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), the representative of Port Harcourt Chambers of Commerce, the private sector and civil society groups.