Media Rights Agenda (MRA) will hold a one-day sensitization workshop on the Freedom of Information Act for representatives of civil society and grassroots organizations in Lagos on Wednesday, September 19, 2012.
The workshop is the first in a series to be held across four geo-political zones in Nigeria. Similar workshops will be held between October and December 2012 in Makurdi, Benue State; Asaba, Delta State; Owerri, Imo State; and Benin-City, Edo State.
The broad objective of the workshop is to improve the understanding of participating civil society and grassroots organizations of the Freedom of Information Act and build their capacity to effectively make use of the Act to obtain information of interest to them or relevant to their work from public institutions and relevant private entities as well as to monitor the effective implementation of the Law.
Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda, said although some progress has been made towards ensuring greater public awareness of the Freedom of Information Act and its effective implementation, much work remained to be done to get a sizeable number of Nigerians to use the law regularly to hold governments at various levels accountable and create an environment for good governance to thrive.
According to him: “Understanding of the FOI Act is very crucial to its effective implementation and we believe that grassroots, community-based and other civil society organisations have crucial roles to play in ensuring that the Act is effectively implemented.”
The workshops are being organized with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through a grant from Pact Nigeria.