28 September 2018, Abuja - Right To Know (R2K) Nigeria today joins access to information advocates globally to celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of the International Day for the Universal Access to Information (2018).
As part of activities to celebrate this day, R2K, Nigeria has today released an updated version of its FOI Compliance Assessment Report 2018. This report is a comparative analysis focused on two key provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, particularly, Section 2 (3 & 4) which provides for Proactive Disclosure and Section 29 (1, 2 & 3) which compels an FOI Annual Submission to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation by all public institutions in Nigeria.
R2K, Nigeria’s 2018 assessment report (in review of 2017) reveals the highest number of FOI annual submissions made so far by Public Institutions in Nigeria since the Act was passed in May 2011. There was a 35% increase this year as against the submissions for the year 2016. In compliance with the proactive disclosure provisions of the Act, the 73 Public Institutions assessed, revealed a slight upgrade from 2016 in proactive disclosure of information on its websites. A significant number of these Institutions consistently updated and disclosed information as seen on their websites.
Mrs Ene Nwankpa, R2K, Nigeria’s Coordinator stated that “in this 7th year of our assessing FOI compliance, the findings of our report indicates that, Federal Ministry of Justice, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Ministry of Budget & National Planning, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), rank as the top 5 Institutions that have been consistent both in Annual submissions and proactive disclosure which is commendable”.
Mrs Nwankpa also noted that “with over 800 Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) in Nigeria and only 73 of these complying with the 2 key provisions of the Act demonstrates that implementation of the FOI Act in Nigeria after 7 years of its enactment is abysmal”.
By releasing this report, R2K, Nigeria appeals to the Nigeria Government to demonstrate political will to fully implement the Act and introduce strict sanctions to defaulting MDAs.