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STAKEHOLDERS ADOPT BENIN CITY DECLARATION ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION AT SUB-NATIONALS

In order to commemorate the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) 2022, a one-day colloquium with the theme “Artificial Intelligence, e-Government and Access to Information” was held in Benin City on September 29, 2022, organized by the Rural Development, Information and Legal Advocacy Centre (RUDILAC) in collaboration with the Edo State Ministry of Communication & Orientation. Partners embraced the Benin City Announcement on Admittance to Data at the Sub nationals

The announcement is to advance enemy of defilement, basic freedom assurance, great office practice and participatory administration at different states. It was concurred that Administration’s commitment to respect admittance to data responsibility is natural and essential majority rule great administration practice. It was emphasized that a variety of state commitments to inform the public about covid19 precautions during the pandemic were proactive disclosures that must be maintained after the pandemic.

In Benin City, stakeholders emphasized that open government commitment does not necessitate legislation. It was reiterated that the decision of the Court of Appeal, Benin City, in the case of Osakue v. EDOSACA, which stated that the state government must pass an access to information law before the Freedom of Information Act of 2011 can be implemented in the state, should not be pampered in a vacuum because some states already have open government laws that fill the void. It was also emphasized that the right to information is guaranteed by Articles 9(1) and (2) of the African Charter, to which Nigeria is a signatory, and that subnationals need not comply with any additional legislation or instructions. It was requested of the Edo State government to send the Access to Information Bill to the House of Assembly as an Executive Bill for passage.

The declaration aims to ensure that subnational government agencies adhere to the principles of transparency, accountability, and public access to information in their operations, as well as to establish comprehensive legal safeguards for the public’s right to access information held by all government agencies and require them to publish key information categories. The statement likewise calls for insurance of digitized records and data by consenting to surviving protection guideline and furthermore passing a security regulation.

Mr. Leo Atakpu of Africa Network for Environment & Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Uyi Ojo, Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action (ERA), and Com are among the organizations that endorsed the declaration. Austin Osakue of Starting point for Good Administration and Social Change (FFGGSC), Prof A.D Badaiki, SAN of Rustic Turn of events, Data and Lawful Backing Community (RUDILAC), President Aigbokhan of RUDILAC, Cleric. Peoples’ Defenders Advocate, Com.’s Dr. O.A. Ochei Abiola Igaga, a member of the Conference of NGOS (COMGOS), Agho Omobude of Edo Common Society Association (EDOCSO, VGN, Com. Freedom Ambassadors’ Ngozi Ibeh, FOI Counsel’s Ayodele Otuakhena, and Connected Advocacy’s Johngoodluck Nweze Idiogbe Solomon of Youth Strengthening Promoters, Mr. Odion Polycarp of Nigeria Police Power, Mr. Solomon Imohiosu of Service of Correspondence and direction, Okonjo Oyniyechukwu of Uromi JDPC, Uzioruna Aliu of Vanguard Paper, Tony Osaugo of The Sun Paper, Francis Onoiribholo of Day to day Autonomous Paper, Patrick Ochoga of Authority Paper and people present.

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