The Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim has reiterated the commitment of the Scheme to promoting accountability and entrench work ethics of probity.
General Ibrahim made the assertion today in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 2020 NYSC Freedom of information Desk Officers’ Workshop held at Rockview Hotel, (Royale), Abuja.
The Director General said that in line with the provisions of the Act on proactive disclosure, information on the operations of NYSC are regularly posted and updated on the Scheme’s website and social media platforms.
“In addition, to the usage of traditional media, our weekly programme on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and the Armed Forces Radio, the ‘NYSC Half Hour’, are part of the conscious efforts to bring relevant stakeholders and, indeed, the entire nation to speed up with our activities. These efforts have engendered greater appreciation of the continued relevance of the Scheme by all and sundry.”
Ibrahim, who has attained the academic status as an Associate Professor appreciated the pragmatic approach of the Press and Public Relations Unit and the indefatigability of the desk officers which has earned the Scheme recognition as performing government agency.
“It is heartwarming to note that as a result of the vision-driven commitment of the Press and Public Relations Unit and the tenacity of our FOIA Desk Officers, NYSC has earned recognition as one of the best performing agencies in the FOIA compliance ranking.”
The NYSC boss implored the Desk Officers to intensify efforts to discharge their duties in order to achieve the Scheme’s target of becoming the leading agency in FOIA compliance.
The Director General whose birthday coincided with ceremony declared the support of the management to the implementation of the FOIA guidelines and warned that no individual or group will be allowed to truncate the road to greater heights of the noble Scheme.
“On our part, management will not relent in complying with the FOIA provisions, just as we have put measures in place to entrench transparency and accountability in the day to day running of the Scheme.
“Let me also reiterate that, under our watch, no individual or group of people will be allowed to threaten the integrity of the Scheme’s operations and processes including the mobilisation, deployment, relocation and posting of corps members.”
General Ibrahim used the opportunity of the workshop to assure the general public of the management commitment to the protection of the lives of corps members which he said that the Scheme ‘have intensified our collaboration with and the relevant agencies’.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Director, Press and Public Relations Unit, Mrs. Adenike Adeyemi said that 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.
Mrs. Adeyemi said that the theme of the workshop which is ‘Boosting Government Fight Against Corruption Through the Freedom of information Act’ was carefully chosen to highlight the commitment of the NYSC Management to the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
She disclosed that the Scheme in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) established anti-corription CDS groups nationwide who, through sensitisation and awareness campaigns, ‘have been contributing to the fight against corruption over the years’.
The Director, Press and Public Relations Unit admonished the workshop participants to take advantage of the programme to update their knowledge in order to be more effective and efficient in the discharge of their responsibilities as NYSC FOIA Desk Officers.
“The papers to be delivered will stimulate profound discourse on the various implementation challenges you experience with a view to evolving modalities for seamless service delivery . It will further equip you to train and give proper guidance to the Corps FOIA Vanguards under your charge,” she said.
Mrs. Adeyemi congratulated the Director General of NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim for unveiling nine books on the contributions of NYSC to national development.
“It was indeed another demonstration of the Director General’s obvious intentions not only to showcase the relevance of the Scheme, but also to bequeath unprecedented legacies to the service corps.”
The Freedom of information Act 2011 according to the Director, Press and Public Relations Unit is designed to enthrone transparency and accountability in public funded MDAs through effective and efficient record keeping, as well as easy access to same for interested persons.
“Thus, it confers on the public a rare opportunity and privilege to request for and receive information on specific issues of concern from public funded organisations,” she concluded.
The lead paper ‘Towards Freedom of information Act (FOIA) Compliance as Panacea for Entrenching Anti-Corruption Ethics in Government’ was delivered by a Management Consultant on Records and Information, Dr. Godwin Omoregie while the second paper, ‘Challenges of Implementation Freedom of information Act FOIA) Under the Non-conventional Media: The Impact of Social Media’ was given by the Secretary General, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Mallam Shuaibu Liman.