Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, on Saturday, while speaking at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Media Dialogue in Abuja, said that the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari is the most transparent and open in the history of Nigeria.
According to him, unlike the administrations of Former Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, information now pass more freely and speedily from the government to Nigerians.
“The President has been open to the extent of allowing Nigerians to make input in almost all his major policy decisions,” he said
“The Ministry of Information under this government has been hyperactive; thereby, making the administration of President Buhari the most open and transparent in the history of Nigeria,” he added
“Take for instance, a few days ago, the full minute of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting was sent to all media houses to use as content for public consumption. This shows that the federal government is trying to provide as much information as possible to the public.
“Also, Nigeria’s recent upward climb on the Ease of Doing Business Index (EDBI) is another indicator of this government’s strong resolve and commitment to transparency initiatives.
Mr. Lai who was represented by the Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria, Bayo Onanuga, encourage the media to take advantage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to request for more government information that will serve the interest of the public.
He added that any Ministries, Departments and Government Agencies who fail to provide information requested in compliance with the FOI Ac can be sued.
He however advised that the media should exercise the freedom with a sense of responsibility.
“The media must continue to call government and members of the political class to order when they go wrong. However, the media should remain truthful, factual and objective. It should also desist from spreading information from unverified and unverifiable sources.
“As professionals, try to do your work in compliance with the media laws and codes of ethics which guide the media profession,” Mr. Lai advised.