The Deputy Minister of information, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has indicated that the Right to Information Bill is currently being discussed by cabinet for it to be passed into law by December, this year.
He said the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu, and the Minister of information, Mrs. Zita Okaikoi, are working on a sub-committee tasked to modify the Bill for its subsequent passage. Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwah made the disclosure at the launch of a book on the Right to information Bill on Monday, this week.
He stated that the right to information bill is needed now than ever before, adding that if public officials are free from corrupt tendencies they need not be worried about the Bill. Launching the book, Mr. Sam Okudzeto, of the International Advisory Commission, who is also the uncle of the Deputy Minister of Information, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwah, observed that when politicians are in opposition they demand to know more information, but when they are in power they tend to hide information.
He noted that politicians recognize that the balance of power will shift in favour of the masses. “As such there is a growing sense of insecurity among those governing, that floodgates of knowledge may open and undermine their ability to exercise control in their governance systems,” he added. Touching on the importance of the Information Bill, he said, information is vital to target development and in assessing whether development is being well implemented and reaching beneficiaries.
He therefore added that guaranteed access to information is a crucial tool for creating an enabling environment through which people have easy access to information held by government, where people are free to ask questions on information obtained from public agencies. The Right to Information Coalition Convener, Nana Oye Lithur, was of the view that they have played the principal role of acting as traditional pressure group to lobby government’s support for the Bill.
Source: The Enquirer
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