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MRA tasks govt on budgetary provision for FOI implementation in MDAs

By Saxone Akhaine, Kaduna
25 November 2022   |   3:21 am
Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has urged the Federal Government to demonstrate commitment to transparent and accountable governance by ensuring federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) get resources in the 2023 budget for implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has urged the Federal Government to demonstrate commitment to transparent and accountable governance by ensuring federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) get resources in the 2023 budget for implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

In a statement by its Programme Officer, Maimuna Momoh, MRA said its analysis of the 2023 budget proposal showed that out of over 500 federal public institutions, only nine made specific allocations for FOI implementation, indicating the Act is likely to experience another year of dismal performance.

She said: “Among the nine public institutions that made budget proposals for FOI implementation, the allocations proposed are so outrageously low. It is doubtful whether they can actually achieve any meaningful results, with some of such agencies allocating as little as 0.002 per cent of their proposed 2023 budgets.”

Momoh added: “When you consider the range of duties and obligations that all public institutions have under the FOI Act, including sensitising and training staff, proactively publishing certain categories of information, preparing and submitting reports to the Attorney General of the Federation, responding to requests for information from members of the public; creating, storing and managing information and records, all of which require resources, the clear implication of this situation is that most federal public institutions have no plan or intention to comply with or implement the Act.”