NAPTIP, Ministries of Information, Industry rank lowest on FOI compliance in five years

THE Ministry of Information and Culture, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) have lowest ranking in terms of compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in Nigeria.

This is based on the assessment of the performances of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the National FOI Ranking in five years.

The Ministry of Information and Culture, responsible for providing the public with timely information, ironically took the least positions available in the 2017 and 2018 FOI rankings, coming 75th and 82nd, respectively.

A slight improvement was recorded in 2019 and 2020 when the ministry came 50th and 51st out of 141 and 200 positions respectively, but there was a drastic decline in 2021 as it came 198th out of 198 available spaces.

Similarly, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and investment, taking a joint last position, ranked 75th and 82nd in 2017 and 2018 respectively, and 73rd out of 141 in 2019.

In 2020, the ministry took 134th place out of 200 and graced the last position available in 2021: 198th.

The NAPTIP in 2017 came 40th out of 75 available positions. It also came last in 2018 and 2019, ranking 82nd and 141st, respectively.

The agency came 83rd out of 200 positions in 2020 and 90th out of 198 in 2021.
These MDAs are part of over 75 per cent of public institutions that do not comply with the FOI Act in Nigeria.

However, some MDAs have shown consistent compliance with the Act over the years.

The National Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), which emerged winner of the 2021 National FOI Ranking, had taken the 75th position out of 75 in 2017 but rose to 17th out of 82 places in 2018.

The commission consecutively placed 2nd out of 141 and 200 places in 2019 and 2020, respectively, before winning the first position this year.

    The Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) had come 1st out of 75 in 2017, 5th out of 82 in 2018, 9th out of 141 in 2019, 1st out of 200 in 2020 and 2nd out of 198 in 2021.

    The National Orientation Agency (NOA), which had placed 52nd out of 75 in 2017, emerged 5th consecutively out of 92 and 141 in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

    The NOA had come 17th out of 200 in 2020 but took the 3rd position out of 198th available spaces in 2021.

    The FOI Ranking is conducted annually by a coalition of civil society organisations, Including Public-Private Development Centre (PPDC), The International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), BudgiT, Basic Rights Watch (BRW), Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Right to Know (R2K).

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

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