Editorial Team

Emmanuel Udom-Managing Editor, Stephen Dijo Philemon-Deputy Editor, Janet Udom-Senior Correspondent, Precious Udom-Senior Correspondent, Williams Ita-Bureau Chief(Akwa Ibom/Cross River), Fabian Idoko-Senior Correspondent

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    Friday, 18 December 2015

    Dr Goodluck Jonathan presidency scored “F9” on FOI 2011 Act compliance

    By Emmanuel Udom

    May 28, 2011, former Nigerian president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, signed the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 into law. Olesegun Obasanjo, the president of Nigeria before Jonathan bluntly refused to sign the FOIA bill into law.

    For his boldness in signing the bill into law, Jonathan was hailed and praised within and outside Nigeria as a president who was determined to open-up governance in the country.

    But, Edetaen Ojo, executive director, Media Rights Agenda is quoted as saying that “the implementation of the FOIA under the Jonathan administration was rather lackluster, with the presidency itself consistently remaining among the worst performing institutions in terms of non-compliance in all assessments conducted throughout the nearly four years of the existence of the law”.

     However, independent checks revealed that in the four year second term of the Goodluck Jonathan regime, only two out of the more than 800 federal institutions submitted their compliance reports on the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

    This is in flagrant breach of Section 29 of the FOI Act, where only the then office of the secretary to the government of the federation and that of the national security adviser submitted their FOIA compliance reports in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

    The refusal by former president Jonathan to declare his assets publicly contributed also contributed to this low non-compliance score-card.

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