MRA calls for robust implementation of FOI Act

THE Media Rights Agenda (MRA) said there was a need to implement the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act religiously to enable the law achieve its ultimate objectives of transparency and accountability within the Nigerian government.

In a statement commemorating the 10th anniversary of the signing of the FOI into law, the MRA noted that the implementation of the Act had provided easy access of information for citizens, making them more aware of various actions and government policies.

The MRA, however, condemned the poor implementation of the Act by the government agencies and public institutions who had opposed the application of the law, to enable them run their government in secret.

    “The Federal Government has had neither bark nor bite in the implementation of the FOI Act in the last 10 years as there has been no concerted effort to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act by public institutions under its authority and control,” it read.

    The organisation urged the Federal Government to work towards achieving compliance by public institutions with the Act so as to strengthen the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

    The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami was advised to ensure that administration of sanctions against public institutions who failed to comply with the Act, based on the powers conferred on him by the constitution.

    The FOI Act was enacted in 2011 under the administration of former President Goodluck Johnathan, with a view to guaranteeing the right of public access to documents held by government institutions and relevant private entities in Nigeria.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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