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FG Provides Guidelines For FOI Implementation

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The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Sali, said the government had provided operational guidelines for the effective implementation of the Freedom of Information Act ( FoI) to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

He said this in Abuja last Thursday at a sensitisation workshop for directorate cadre officers on the implementation of the FOI Act.

Sali, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Establishment, Mr Charles Bonad, said that the guidelines were released through the Ministry of Justice.

He added that the guidelines were to be carefully studied and institutionalised in all MDAs.

The head of service noted that a reporting format had been developed and distributed to all MDAs to ensure uniformity

and standardisation in the reporting process.

“It is pertinent to mention that I have directed all MDAs to establish in-house committees on  the FoI Act.

“In due course, the focal desk officer of the in-house committees in the MDAs will be sensitised and trained on all aspects of records management and documents for effective implementation of the Act.”

Bello also called for collaboration among the MDAs in the fight against poor service delivery and urged the management of MDAs to internalise the contents of the Act for effective service delivery.

The Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof . Chidi Odinkalu,  warned that “the nation’s security is breached each time official business is transmitted via public domains such as yahoo and Gmail.

“This is because the proprietors of those services are in the U.S.”

Odinkalu described as ironic, a situation where government tagged all information as secret to its citizens but exposed itself via the public domains to the international community.

He called for urgent steps to end official communications on such domains.

The NHRC boss, who presented a paper entitled “Principles for Successful Implementation of FoI Act in Public Service: Lessons Learnt from other Countries”, said continuous use of such domains would expose the country to more dangers.

“The FoI Act should be taken seriously because of the current national crisis and this era of terrorism.”

He also expressed concern about the fact that several government establishments’ website were not integrated into a common portal.

Odinkalu said some of the websites were not usually updated, portraying the country as not serious and backward “in this age of information technology.”

He also called for a national security policy that would articulate short, medium and long term ways to address national issues, saying the last security policy review was done 25 years ago.

“With the new trend in crime and terrorism, Nigeria needs a new policy to address it,” he added.

In a goodwill message, the Special Assistant to Attorney-General of the Federation, Prof . Peter Akpe, said “the FoI Act entrusts to the office of AGF the responsibility of ensuring compliance by MDAs.

“It requires public institutions to submit to the AGF, annual dispositions made by them on the Act in the preceding year.

“I have encouraged compliance and in January, I issued a memorandum advising that all public institutions should submit their reports before the end of February as stipulated by the Act.

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RSG Alerts On Orchestrated Media Campaign

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The Rivers State Government has raised alarm over alleged moves by some critics of the government to use selected media houses in the state to denigrate the state government.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, reads, “The Rivers State Government is aware of clandestine plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State to use selected media houses in the state to denigrate the government of Governor Nyesom Wike.
“This is as a result of the intimidating sterling performance of Governor Wike in infrastructure, healthcare, education, agriculture, rural transformation, housing development, administration of justice, social welfare and sports development.
“This orchestrated campaign spearheaded by a defeated and dumped governorship aspirant of the APC, Dr. Dakuku Peterside is designed to portray the government of Governor Wike as one that is not meeting the developmental aspirations of Rivers people.
“However, the uncommon transformation of the 23 local government areas as witnessed during the last six years of projects commissioning and flag off shows clearly that Governor Wike is actually meeting the yearnings of the people.
“The fact that Rivers people that turn out en mass at the various projects sites to heartily welcome their beloved governor and his guests drawn from all political divides is a clear indication that Rivers people can no longer be swayed by cheap politically induced blackmail.
“The truth of the matter is that the APC government that boasted that Governor Wike will not see money to pay workers’ salaries and execute projects has been humbled by the revolution in governance currently witnessed in the state.
“Instead of people like Dr. Dakuku Peterside and his acolytes to eat the humble pie, they are busy looking for cheap popularity through sponsored appearances in the media.
“No matter how hard these detractors push their propaganda, Governor Wike will never be distracted in executing his social contract with the people of Rivers State.
“In the next few weeks, more projects that have direct bearing to the lives of Rivers people will be unveiled.
“Governor Wike’s promise to continue working as if this is his first tenure and not abandon any project remains sacrosanct.
“Rivers people are watching those whose stock in trade is to dance naked and pray that they continue as merchants of mischief, falsehood and baseless allegations.”
“The people of Rivers State love Governor Wike whose outstanding achievements in salvaging the state from the dearth of basic infrastructural development required for speedy socioeconomic transformation has received national and international applause.
“Therefore, no amount of negative propaganda by the failed APC can diminish the legacy of Governor Wike in Rivers State.
“Rather than launder the thoroughly battered image of the APC, such media appearances by Dr. Dakuku Peterside and his cohorts will further expose APC’s penchant for lies and deception which is now a public knowledge.
“The former governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, has confirmed that Governor Wike is the best Rivers State has produced.
“’I have been there. And I make bold to say Governor Nyesom Wike, you are the best,’ Dr. Odili said.
“Odili’s comment serves as an answer to those masquerading as informed commentators with puerile and suffocating commentaries”, the statement added.

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Bandits In Trouble As Super Tucano Aircraft Arrives

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The first batch of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft has arrived in Kano, yesterday, at about 12.34 pm.
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, confirmed the arrival of the fighter aircraft in a statement.
“On hand to receive the aircraft were the Hon. Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd); Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Farouk Yahaya; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao”, he said.

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We’ve No Patience With Failure, Oyedepo Lashes Out At Sacked Pastors

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The General Overseer and Founder of The Living Faith Church International also known as Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, has reacted to the recent sack of over 40 pastors by the church.
One of the affected Pastors, Peter Godwin, took to social media, claiming they were sacked for not generating enough income.
Godwin, who was in one of the church’s branches in Ekiti State, had claimed, “I was told by the management that the church doesn’t operate at a loss.
“They also told me that the total income that is being generated from my station should be able to cater for my welfare and accommodation, so as a result of low income, I’m hereby dismissed.”
Reacting to the allegation in a video posted on the social media, Oyedepo said the sack of the pastors was not about money, adding that the latter were sacked as a result of their failure and the church “has no patience with failure.
“Money? Nonsense! We have never lacked it, and yet, we have never prayed for it.
“We are just simply obeying God, and He is backing up what He is asking us to do. Awesome God,” he noted.
On those criticising the sack, the GO said, “People are confused about our ministry. I learnt some fellows said, you know, they are not bringing income, that is why they asked them to go”.
He added, “We asked you to go because you are unfruitful. Unfruitful! Blatant failure. Doing what there? We have no patience with failure here.
“When we employed 7,000 people at a time, social media was dead.
“We have more employees in this organisation than most of the states. No one is owed a dime salary and we don’t borrow, we don’t beg. Ask our bank whether we take overdraft.
“We are covenant bound, working in the light of God’s word, enjoying an open Heaven.”

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