By Sola Omoboyowa, Akure
As parts of its efforts at creating a functional and effective archives and records keeping mechanism in the state, the Ondo State Government would enact a law that would assist the government in adequate records management.
Speaking at a one day sensitisation programme on archives and records management for top Government Functionaries, a programme organised by the Ministry of Information and Orientation, held at the Ondo State Public Service Training Insitute, Ilara-Mokin, today, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, represented by his Deputy, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, said the state government would give the necessary legal backing to ensure the state has a standard and functional archives and records management system.
Governor Akeredolu added that Archives have the primary duty of preserving and documenting government’s historical records and heritage with a view of making them available for judiciary, historical, research purposes as well as promoting government accountability and good governance.
He stressed the need for the government to have an expository where operational documents of government are properly kept, stating that the state Archive is a potent way of promoting government accountability and good governance particularly in a democratic soceity.
The Governor added that the state government had made a budgetary provision of 10 million naira to put in place an efficient Archive Centre in the state.
In his welcome address, the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi said the programme was aimed at sensitizing stakeholders as well as sharpening the skills of Records Officers; noting that Archives are permanently valuable records of culture, historical or evidentary value that constitute the memory of the state.
He, however said the successive government has not done much in archives and records management, as valuable records and materials are never considered worthy to be gathered to form an archive for the state.
Mr. Olowolabi noted that the idea of having an archive centre in the star was first conceived by former Governors of the State, Chief Adebayo Adefarati and Dr. Olusegun Agagu’s administration who gave impetus by appointing a Consultant to look into the modalities for the establishment of a befitting centre in the state and a bill establishing archive centre was prepared and presented to the State House of Assembly, but the bill was yet to be passed into law before change of government.
The Information and Orientation Commissioner commended the staff of the Department of Archive, Ministry of Information and Orientation for their commitment to duties, despite working in an unconducive environment, stating that in 2010 the department staged a photo exhibition of the past and present heroes in Nigeria to mark 50 years of Nigeria Independence.
Also speaking, the resource person, Professor Olubunmi Alegbeleye,former National Chairman of the Society of Nigerian Archivists lauded the Ondo State Government for showing the political will in developing archives and records keeping management in the state.
He reiterated that record keeping is an evidence, noting that there are several ways of keeping records that could be consulted at anytime for vital information. Professor Alegbeleye stressed the need to have proper records management, which he said would go a long way in fighting corruption and enhanced good governance in any society.
The Don therefore urged participants to do their best in there various offices in records management ,saying Ondo State would be the cynosure of eyes in terms of proper records keeping.