FG raises concern over flouting of FOI Act

The Federal Ministry of Justice has expressed concern that only 73 out of the 900 public institutions comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, that directs them to submit annual report of all applications of FOI requests.

The Deputy Director, FOI Unit, Ministry of Justice, Benjamin Okolo, said yesterday, at a seminar on Open Government Partnership: Amplifying Access To Information organised by the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) in collaboration with the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR).

Quoting Section 29 of FOI Act (2011), he said every public institution must submit its annual report on or before February 1 of each year to the Attorney-General of the Federation, on all applications of FOI request they received.

Okolo maintained that it is the only report the Attorney-General, by law, submits to the National Assembly, noting that open government partnership would promote fiscal transparency, anti-corruption, access to information and citizens’ engagement through technology.

The Special Adviser to the President on Justice Sector Reform and National Coordinator Open Government Partnership, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku, pointed out that OGP would bring government reformers and civil society leaders together to create action plans that could make governments more inclusive, responsive and accountable.

Representative of PPDC, Mr. Sam Offia, said the organisation had consistently advocated full implementation of access to information in Nigeria and training of representatives of public institutions on the importance of citizens’ access to information and its effect on service delivery.

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