The fight against corruption received a boost on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 as the Socio Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) presented its new report titled USING YOUR RIGHT TO INFORMATION TO CHALLENGE CORRUPTION IN THE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WATER SECTORS. The report authored by Professor Ayodele Victoria Atsenuwa Dean, faculty of Law University of Lagos is meant to build active citizen participation in the governance process through availability and timely access to accurate, non-prejudiced information from authentic sources.
In her Presentation, Professor Atsenuwa stated that the Freedom of Information (FOI) law is critical to good governance as that is the ultimate goal of human right. Speaking further, she stated that the FOI right is the right which members of the public have to information held by government officials or public institutions. According to her, Citizens must constantly hold their leaders accountable because the highest office in the land is that of the citizen. Commenting on the brick wall posed by the inability of some states to domesticate the FOI law, Professor Atsenuwa maintained that the denial of such FOI request must not dampen the spirit of the applicant as the struggle for liberation is a continuous one.
While rounding up her presentation, she called for the establishment of a media coalition that will drive the FOI struggle through weekly publication of lists of individuals and MDAs limiting the functionality of the FOI Law. In the words of the Executive Director of SERAP Adetokunbo Mumuni, he stated that the constant demand for information by citizens using the FOI law must be a continuous exercise as change does not take place in one day, the failure to get the necessary information by citizens must not cause a distraction to their work.
This report which SERAP plans to make available to members of the public will help in no small means to fast track development in the nations rotten health, education and water sectors. Other discussants at the event include Mr. Timothy Adewale SERAP Deputy Director, Dr Olajumoke-Akiode Executive Director Centre for ethics and sustainable development. There were also representatives of Connected Development (CODE), BudgIT, CACOL, ICPC among others.