Records and Archives Professional Association of Nigeria (RAPAN) has urged the National assembly to immediately commence a “BILL” that will enshrine the culture of professional Records and Archives management in the country.
The association made the call on Thursday, as it joins other relevant professional bodies worldwide in marking this year’s International Archive Day (IAD) holding on Friday, 9th June 2017.
In a statement signed by its president, Prince (Dr) Adejuwon Akinfolurin,FIIM,FIMC, RAPAN called for an urgent legislation on Professional records and archives so as to keep Nigeria in line with the UNESCO’s directive to all developing countries of the World to put in place a robust repository for Data preservation that will keep and secure every records of governance.
The statement reads: “It is UNESCO’s recommendation that every country should put a robust repository in place, keep and maintain adequate records of the transaction and important history of government to ensure that there is no loss of information at any level of Government.
“The Federal Government should play a leading role in this area to ensure that the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act of 2011 is not a waste of taxpayer’s money.”
The association lamented that Nigeria has over the years suffered set-backs and encountered several challenges emanating from non to poor records keeping culture.
“We shouldn’t forget the fire that gutted the nation’s edifice, the NITEL in a hurry,” it recalled. “What about the several fire incidents at the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Kontagora House on Marina etc which were all man-made fire incidence to cover dirty tracks of huge financial recklessness of Government officials (corruption)?
“In Nigeria, poor records keeping culture has paralyzed so many brilliant initiatives. Scientific research has come to screeching halt due to lack of adequate records; promotion of workers has been stalled, given room to a lot of fraudulent practices.
“It has also denied our country several International Aids and assistance for crucial developments that could have come our ways, but due to unavailability of desired records we missed the opportunities.”
In RAPAN’s view, one way of turning the tide of vital record losses in the country is for the federal government to commence urgent moves to ensure that the nation imbibes the culture of secure records keeping and management.
Meanwhile as the Records and Archives Professional Association of Nigeria joins the entire world to commemorate the International Archives Day, it appealed to Nigerian public to churn the habit of deliberate destruction of valuable records.
It stated: “We will like to inform our dear nation Nigeria that the era of deliberate destruction of valuable records and documents is over, especially with the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act of 2011, a bill which now places a huge responsibility on the shoulder of record managers in all organization, be it Public or Private.
The association also urged Nigerians at all levels to see the IAD as a reminder of the responsibility and need to correct errors of the past and make deliberate efforts to imbibe the culture of good records keeping.
“It further challenge us to do more as a nation in order to evolve a world order of international best practice in Records and Archives Management,” it added.
Records and Archives Professional Association of Nigeria is a body of corporate and individual records and archive professionals, with responsibility of regulating the practice of Records and Archives and allies services in Nigeria and promote excellence in the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills by practitioners, thereby contributing to sustainable National Development.
RAPAN is also responsible for negotiating and consulting with the Federal, States and Local Governments, private organizations, as well as the International community on matters of policy affecting the conduct and practice of Archivists, Records and Information Managers and other allied professionals.
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