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, Chairman of the Council, Emmanuel Ogbeche, 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 was of urgent relevance to Nigeria where information hoarding had become a near-norm even with a legislation that recognizes citizens right to governmental information.
He said the danger of not making information available was what had given rise to fake news, disinformation, misinformation and mischief on issues of governance and development.
The NUJ FCT chairman insisted that when information was 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 aim at promoting social cohesion, demanding accountability and transparency from those in government and entrenching democratic norms and the rule of law.
Also a statement by the chairman of Nigeria Union of journalists, Osun state council ,Comrade Wasiu Ajadosu and secretary, comrade Bukola Elufadeju said media professionals deserved decent life through a special wage due to their roles in nation building.
It notes that the theme of this year celebration ” Information as a public good” attested to importance of information to human existence and good governance.
It explains 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
The statement adds 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.