The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has welcomed the Right to Information (RTI) law, which received a presidential assent today.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo appended his signature to the RTI to make it a law on Tuesday morning.
This was after it was presented to him on Monday, following Parliament’s passage in March 2019.
Reacting, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Roland Affail Monney said the development was greatly welcomed.
He said RTI has come to give a deeper meaning and inestimable value to the constitutional right and sovereign entitlement of Ghanaians to receive information held on their behalf by public officials.
“This will certainly purify the culture of transparency, accountability and openness in governance as well as reduce the incidence of corruption. To journalists in particular, access to information is fundamental to our ability to report factually and responsibly”.
Mr Monney also commended President Nana Akufo-Addo and the current Parliament for actualizing a dream which has been nursed for decades.
President Akufo-Addo signed the bill on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at a short ceremony at the Jubilee House and stated it was handed over to him on Monday, but because he promised not to delay it further, he decided to immediately sign.
The bill, will, however, start operating in January 2020.
To President Akufo-Addo, he was optimistic that the law will enhance good governance.
He said if the law was properly applied, it will enhance the quality of governance in Ghana and provide a critical tool in the fight against corruption.
Parliament passed the bill in March 2019 after about two decades of advocacy for the law.
The RTI Bill was first drafted in 1999, reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was only presented to Parliament in 2010 and was not passed by that Parliament that ended on January 6, 2013 and the subsequent one from January 7, 2013 to January 6, 2017.
The bill was however relaid in Parliament in 2018 and was subsequently passed in March 2019