Rights Group Challenges Kwara Governor Over Refusal Of State Assembly To Pass FoI Bill For Assent

Elites Network for Sustainable Development, a Kwara-based civil society organisation, has questioned the silence of the Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, over the refusal of the State’s House of Assembly to go the Freedom of Information invoice to the governor for assent.

Coordinator of ENetSuD, Dr Abdullateef Alagbonsi, raised the priority over the silence of the governor throughout a Zoom assembly with some CSOs within the state.

The governor had in July 2019 returned the invoice to the Assembly after making an modification to it. 

The governor requested that the invoice be amended from seven days to 14 days, whereas the N100,000 is elevated to N500,000. 

While commending the enter of the governor, the group held that for the reason that Assembly obtained it, nothing had been heard of the invoice.

Alagbonsi stated, “Suggesting a stiffer punishment for anybody who destroys paperwork or suggesting a rise in time to allow ministries, departments and businesses to conform are indicators that you really want the FOI to have some degree of strengths to advertise transparency and accountability. The first and second paragraphs of your letter made us comfortable.

“It continues to be worrisome, Your Excellency Sir, that having written the House of Assembly, the letter was learn on the 23rd of July, 2019 on the plenary of the House by the Rt. Hon. Speaker, however it’s nonetheless one thing that’s stunning that once we depend from July 23rd to this point, that’s about 11 months.

“It is worrisome that your request to the House for minor modification of simply N100,000 to N500,000, and 7 days to 14 days has taken virtually a yr and the House has not carried out something on the invoice.

“We are nonetheless shocked that His Excellency has not deemed it match to write down a reminder to the House of Assembly on why the modification has not been carried out.”

The group urged the governor to write down the state Assembly and direct them to go the invoice, including that if handed, it will assist in monitoring authorities’s spending and tasks.

“We imagine that with what we’ve got carried out with monitoring of Federal Government funds, we must always be capable of monitor how the general public fund is spent in Kwara State and the native governments. 

“So, my concern is just on the Freedom of Information bill, urging Your Excellency to fast-track process on the amendment of the bill,” Alagbonsi added.

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