PUBLIC institutions in the country have endorsed and validated the Proactive Disclosure Protocol for the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, developed by the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC) programme of British Council funded by the European Union.
At a two-days meeting held in Abuja to legalise the Protocol, the Head, Freedom of Information Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Gowon Ichibor, said it was timely and capable of adding value to FOI compliance.
Ichibor said the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federation were committed to the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.
According to him, the Proactive Disclosure Protocol is a veritable tool that will enhance the compliance of public institutions with their proactive disclosure obligation, in line with the provisions of the Act.
The Executive Director of Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) who also chairs the board of the Freedom of Information Coalition in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Duru, said “section 2 of the FOI Act (2011) makes it a statutory obligation for public institutions to disclose certain categories of information proactively.”
He asked that the ability of public institutions to comply with the proactive disclosure provisions of the Freedom of Information Act would bring real meaning to section 2 the Act.
The Anti-corruption Manager of Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption, Emmanuel Uche, likened corruption to darkness and describing the FOI Act as capable of dispelling the darkness.
Representative of the Civil Liberties Organisation, Chidi Ekpewerechi and a representative from the Bureau for Public Service Reforms, Eghe Ekpe, moved the motion for adoption, on behalf of civil society stakeholders.
The motion was seconded by Francis Ndimkoha of Citizens’ Quest for Good Governance while Ekpe’s motion on behalf of public institutions was seconded by Juliet Achebe of the National Orientation Agency.
No fewer than 100 public institutions and civil society organisations attended the two-day event.
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