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IPC, MRA task Nigerians to vote responsive institution for FOI Act award

By Charles Akpeji, Jalingo
30 November 2021   |   3:26 am
The need to vote for a public institution that has been adjudged most responsive to requests for information from members of the public under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act has been canvassed by International Press Centre (IPC) and Media Rights Agenda (MRA).

The need to vote for a public institution that has been adjudged most responsive to requests for information from members of the public under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act has been canvassed by International Press Centre (IPC) and Media Rights Agenda (MRA).

They said Nigerians should vote for institutions that have, over the years, adopted innovative practices and procedures to ensure the public’s right to information in the country.

In a statement made available to The Guardian, the leadership of both organisations said the online voting exercise, which began yesterday (Monday), is scheduled to close at midnight on Sunday, December 5, 2021.

The voting is the final selection process for the conferment of ‘Public Institution FOI Best Practice Recognition’.

The organisations shortlisted for online voting for the Public Institution FOI Best Practice Recognition Award, as stated by them, are the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMOJ), the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).

The Executive Director of IPC, Lanre Arogundade, said: “We have decided to open up the process of selecting a winner in the Public Institutions Category to the Nigerian public because we believe that members of the public who have a right to information under the FOI Act should be the ultimate deciders.”

He said this had become necessary “based on their personal experiences or from the information available to them, of how well each of the public institutions at the top of our performance indicators have done in providing information to the public and in the general implementation of the Act.”

A special recognition award, they said, would as well, be given to an individual adjudged to have made a substantial and lasting contribution towards advancing the right to information in Nigeria in the last 10 years.

The exercise is part of activities to commemorate 10th anniversary of the FOI Act. Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, signed it into law in 2011 after about 12 years of advocacy for its enactment.