THE International Press Centre (IPC) and Media Rights Agenda (MRA) have called for entries from individuals and organisations in Nigeria for their National Freedom of Information (FOI) Awards.
The IPC and MRA are to host a National FOI Essay Competition for Mass Communication and Journalism undergraduates of Nigerian universities as part of activities to commemorate the 10th year anniversary of the signing of the FOI Bill into law by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011.
According to the organisations, the FOI Awards was designed to recognise and reward individuals, organisations, and public institutions that have made significant contributions towards the advancement of the right to information in Nigeria as well as in ensuring the effective implementation of the FOI Act.
They also stated that the essay competition themed ‘Deepening Democracy, the Impact of FOI Act 10 Years After’ was aimed at encouraging Mass Communication and Journalism undergraduates to examine the impact of the FOI Act in enhancing participatory democracy.
A statement issued in Lagos by IPC’s Executive Director Lanre Arogundade and his MRA counterpart Edetaen Ojo said the FOI Awards would be in four categories.
The Individual Category will honour an individual that has made the highest number of requests for information under the FOI Act to public institutions or private entities to which the Act applies, between May 29, 2015, and October 31, 2021.
The Organizational Category will honour a news organisation, any other type of organisation, company, association, institution, group, or other types of corporate entities that have made the highest number of requests for information under the FOI Act to public institutions or private entities to which the Act applies, between May 29, 2015, and October 31, 2021.
A Public Institution FOI Best Practice Recognition will be conferred on a public institution adjudged to be most responsive to requests for information from members of the public under the FOI Act and that has adopted innovative and access-friendly practices and procedures to ensure the public right of access to information in Nigeria.
Also, a Special Recognition will be given to an individual adjudged to have made a substantial and lasting contribution towards advancing the right to information in Nigeria over the last 10 years.
The organisers said the winners of the awards and essay competition would be announced and honoured at an award ceremony to take place in Abuja on this year’s International Human Rights Day, Friday, December 10, 2021.