By Adejumoke Alebiosu
The National Youth Service Corps has said it will not relent in complying with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. It also said adequate measures have been put in place to entrench transparency and accountability in the day-to-day running of the scheme.
NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, disclosed this at the opening ceremony of NYSC Freedom of Information Act Desk Officers’ Workshop in Abuja.
The workshop with the theme; “Boosting Government’s Fight against Corruption through the Freedom of Information Act”, was organised for NYSC FOIA Desk Officers from all the NYSC State Secretariats and NYSC National Directorate Headquarters, Abuja.
The Director-General commended the commitment and resourcefulness of the Desk Officers, as well as the entire workforce of the Scheme, which has contributed immensely to the modest heights attained so far.
Ibrahim said NYSC has remained commited to the successful implementation of the FOI Act since it came into effect in 2011, in compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the domestication of the Act by all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
‘This, coupled with our effective feedback mechanism, ensure prompt response to all FOI requests and timely rendition of annual reports to the Federal Ministry of Justice over the years,’ DG said.
He urged the Freedom of Information Act Desk Officers to build on the successes recorded, through greater dedication to duties and also assist Management in sensitizing other members of staff to continue to adhere to the work ethics of probity and accountability.
Speaking further, General Ibrahim advised the FOIA Desk Officers to intensify efforts in the discharge of their duties, in order to achieve the scheme’s target of becoming the leading agency in FOIA compliance.
He added that in line with the provisions of the NYSC Act on proactive disclosure, information on the operations of the NYSC are regularly posted and updated on the Scheme’s website and social media platforms, in addition to the usage of the traditional media.
‘It is heart warming to note that as a result of the vision-driven commitment of the Press and Public Relations Unit and the tenacity of the Desk Officers, NYSC has earned recognition as one of the best performing agencies in the FOIA compliance ranking,’ the DG added.
Ibrahim also reiterated that NYSC Management would resist any attempt to threaten the integrity of the scheme’s operations and processes, including the mobilization, deployment, relocaction and posting of Corps Members, adding that the Scheme remains committed to protecting the lives of Corps Members.
The Director, Press and Public Relations, Mrs Adenike Adeyemi, in her address said the NYSC FOIA Desk Officers’ Workshop has become a yearly event in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2011, which prescribed continuous training and retraining of Desk Officers for optimal performance.
She said the Scheme has established FOIA Community Development Service groups in all its formations nationwide who engage in sensitizing members of the public on their rights under the Act.
‘Recently, the FOIA CDS group in Ebonyi State was at the PRESCO High School, Abakaliki, where they sensitized the students on the FOI Act and the need to seek information from credible sources.
The Gombe State FOIA CDS group did same at the Government Day Secondary Secondary School, Army Barracks in Gombe and was also at the National Orientation Agency Gombe, to seek collaboration to facilitate a wider reach for their awareness campaign,’ Adeyemi said.