The International Press Centre (IPC) in collaboration with Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and the Freedom of Information Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice is set to build a collaborative mechanism among the FOI Desk Officers to deepen strategies for ensuring effective implementation of the FOI Act as well as ensuring improved compliance with proactive publications and others obligations of Public Institutions under the FOI Act.
This was disclosed during a two-day workshop that was held for FOI Desk Officers of Public Institutions on the establishment of a Freedom of Information online engagement Platform in Abuja.
The online platform that would be set up is meant for sharing ideas among FOI Desk Officers and interfacing with the public.
In a communiqué issued by the organizers at the end of the workshop, participants recommended that “Public institutions and FOI Desk Officers should build their capacities to apply and deploy ICTs in creating, collecting, processing, storing, managing, retrieving, presenting, transferring, transmitting, and distributing information and records and routinely use such tools to improve the implementation of the FOI Act across the board.
“The workshop concluded that public’s right of access to information as obligated by the FOI Act is vital to ensuring transparency and accountability in governance and deepening democratic practice in Nigeria and that it is therefore imperative that the right is fully respected and upheld in accordance with the provisions of the FOI Act.”
The communiqué also noted that “a welcome remark was received from Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director, International Press Centre (IPC), who was represented by Ms Stella Nwofia, Programme Manager, IPC while Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA), who chaired the opening session gave the opening remarks. Goodwill messages were received from Mr. Clement Boutillier, Representative of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, and Dr. Gloria Ahmed, National Coordinator of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Nigeria
“The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, who was represented by Mr. Gowon Ichibor, Head of the Freedom of Information Unit at the Federal Ministry of Justice.”
The workshop, with the theme, “Facilitating Shared Learning, Experience Sharing and Best Practice Application in the Implementation of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011” was funded by the European Union (EU) and was implemented under Component 4b: Support to the media of the EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) Project.