The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, FCT Council has enjoined public institutions and those financed with public finances to adhere to the Freedom of Information Act, FoI.
The union made the call on Sunday in Abuja ahead of the 2021 World Press Freedom Day with the theme, “Information as a Public Good.”
In a statement by the Chairman of Council, Emmanuel Ogbeche, he said the day serves as “a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment.”
Mr Ogbeche stressed that the theme is of urgent relevance to Nigeria where information hoarding has become a near-norm even with a legislation that recognizes citizens right to governmental information.
He said the danger of not making information available is what has given rise to fake news, disinformation, misinformation and mischief on issues of governance and development.
The NUJ FCT chairman insisted that when information is readily available, it engenders legitimacy and fuels trust between citizens and those in authority.
Mr Ogbeche called on journalists to see themselves as channels of credible, verifiable and balanced information aimed at promoting social cohesion, demanding accountability and transparency from those in government and entrenching democratic norms and the rule of law.
From Osun State, Nigeria Union of journalists Osun state council, Comrade Wasiu Ajadosu has urged government to create enabling environment for media professionals to practice their trades as the marks World Press Freedom day.
A statement by the chairman of Nigeria Union of journalists Osun state council ,Comrade Wasiu Ajadosu and secretary, comrade Bukola Elufadeju said that media professionals deserved decent life through a special wage due to their roles in nation building.
The statement noted that the theme of this year celebration ” Information as a public good” attested to importance of information to human existence and good governance.
It explained that the theme also underlines the indisputable importance of verified and reliable information as it calls attention to the essential role of free and professional journalists in producing and disseminating information by tackling misinformation and other harmful content
It maintained that media as the fourth estate of the realm must be seen as formidable partner in the task of nation building.
World Press Freedom Day was declared by General Assembly of the United Nation in 1993 provides an avenue to pay tribute to media professionals who risked or lost their lives in the line of duty.