The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have called on President Goodluck Jonathan to sign the Freedom of Information bill (FoI) into law to combat corruption and compel government to be more accountable to the people.
The NLC, in a statement signed by its Assistant General Secretary, Comrade Asuzu Echezona and Head, Information and Public Relations, Comrade Chris Uyot urged President Jonathan to compliment the laudable gesture of the legislature by immediately signing the bill into law.
“The bill which, among other things, provides the right of access to public information or records while protecting officers who disclose such information, is a positive step for combating corruption and compelling government to be more accountable to the people,” it added.
“We call on President Goodluck Jonathan to ignore pressures from all anti-democratic forces within and outside his administration and stand firmly with the voice of the people by assenting to the bill because, the promise of credibility in governance, which the President advocates and had promoted in our electoral process, would not be complete without the instruments to advance transparency and accountability in government.”
The labour centre further said, “Above all, we believe that assent to this bill into law at the twilight of the regime will set a standard for the new administration. It will signal its readiness to govern in the interest of the people by running a government based on openness, transparency, and social justice, as access to information is a must for sustainable democracy.”
On his part, the President General of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Peter Esele said that the non-passage of the FoI bill would continue to hinder access to official information thereby undermining the ability of the Nigerians to monitor and hold the government accountable.
Esele therefore urged the President to complement the laudable gesture of the legislators by signing the bill into law.