Cloudy Weather Report Ramallah, Palestine +4°C, Cloudy

Latest News

View more

BREAKING: Super Eagles’ victory, independence gift to Nigerians, says Buhari

President commends Akwa Ibom govt for supporting team Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday congratulated the Super Eagles on their victory over the Chipolopolo of

Odd Enough: This couple's reaction to getting busted during sex in the car is legendary

At some point in your life, you're probably going to get caught having sex. But what happens next is completely up to you, and the

When staying in marriage because of the children becomes a ‘sacrifice’

Elizabeth Badejo It’s Saturday morning again, after working five days a week, you would expect to have a good lie in together with a nice cup

EFCC arrests dismissed solider, accomplice over job scam

By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor A dismissed soldier Kabir Adamu and his accomplice, Hashimu Mohammed Zakari, were on Friday taken into custody by the Economic and

Man Distributes Suya Worth N200,000 For Free To Celebrate Buhari's Return. Photos

This is serious. A patriotic Nigerian reportedly distributed Kilishi (a dried form of Suya) worth N200,000 for free to celebrate president Muhammadu Buhari's return. See pictures

Worth Reading

Amazing! This Pastor Claims to Heal by Kissing His Flocks - Video

Wonders shall never end.  This is a new one.... Ghanaian pastor based in South Africa claims to heal folks through kisses.  Yes, full blown tongue in

Nigeria vs Zambia 1-0 - (Video)

Watch the football match between Nigeria vs Zambia 1-0, shows  Extended Highlights from the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers on 7 October 2017

The Marriage Test Bucket - (Video)

Watch this hilarious spoof:  The Marriage Scanning Bucket.  Please leave a review below.

Columnists

View more

Africa

View more

End of a Tortuous Journey

After more than a decade of delay, sometimes total rejection, the Freedom of Information Bill is now signed into law

It was first gazetted on December 8, 1999. For five years afterwards, it was ignored despite widespread clamour for quick action on its passage. Three readings, one hearing and cancelled public hearings spanning eight years later led to the passage of a harmonised version to the executive. But, surprisingly, former President Olusegun Obasanjo refused to sign it into law. The whole process restarted and was again stalled during the Yar’Adua administration. Eventually, after a long, torturous journey, President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Right of Information Bill, Saturday, May 28, 2011.

Justus Abuah, deputy director of information, office of the special adviser to the president, in a statement, in Abuja, said the president signed the bill into law a day after the outgoing National Assembly forwarded it to the presidency. 

Abuah highlighted the contents of the law. Its passage will make public records and information more freely available and will also protect public records and information to the extent consistent with the public interest and the protection of personal privacy.

The bill also gives freedom to any Nigerian to access public information including government records stored in public institutions or private bodies which are carrying out public functions for Nigerians and non-Nigerians in whatever form that the applicant wants it, in so far as the preservation or presentation of the information remains unaffected. The request must be answered within seven days of its application.

A person who is denied access to any kind of information may, however, sue the public institution within 30 days and the court is mandated to hear the case summarily under the provisions of the act. Accordingly, it is an offence punishable by three years imprisonment, for any public officer of a public institution to destroy, alter, falsify or deliberately misrepresent information kept in their custody.

The implication of this bill’s passage is enormous. Apart from checking corruption, workers in both public and private sectors will no longer hide under the Official Secret’ Act to withhold document under their care.

Passage of the bill will also enhance investigative and transparent reporting in the country.

The signing of the bill into law raises Nigeria’s integrity in the comity of nations and human rights groups worldwide as a nation protecting and nurturing its citizens’ rights to information.

It is no surprise that its passage is generating excitement in the country. Gbenga Adefaye, president, Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, said he “received the news of the assent of the president to the Freedom of Information Bill with gratitude to a president, who has kept his words.” He explained that the passage of the bill will ensure that Nigerian citizens can participate in their own affairs. “For the media, the signing of the FOI law has expanded the frontiers of press freedom for Africa’s most vibrant press. No more will it be permitted for the journalists to hurry to press with half-truth and misinformation when they can officially verify their facts,” he said.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman, House Committee of Nigerians in the Diaspora, and sponsor of the bill in the House of Representatives, said she is particularly elated about the bill’s passage because it represents the successful completion of a bill that she also struggled to ensure its passage into law despite unwarranted hostility from some quarters. 

But, a lot still needs to be done to make the bill enforceable for Nigerians. Lanre Arogundade, executive director, International Press Centre, Lagos, said the Act does not state which arm of ministries, parastatals, agencies or private sector would handle such requests. This is unlike what obtains in the United States where specially trained personnel designated to specific agencies are in charge of handling these queries. Therefore, President Jonathan should ensure that specially trained personnel are assigned to every local government and public and private companies to handle such queries.

Tags

No tags for this article
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Nigeriadailynews.com. Nigeriadailynews.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.

Related Articles

Opinion: Why is money always allegedly missing under Buhari?

Editor's note: There have been some corruption related allegations against some government parastatal of the country and this has continued generate controversies in the country.

Why Awolowo’s statue is sitting down

Thursday with Abimbola Adelakun [email protected] Piqued by criticisms that followed his 20-foot statue of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the artist, Hamza Atta, has since been on a damage limitation

Something Special in a Mother’s Breast Milk

Breast milk is the baby’s first best food and aids mental and physical growth The memory has lingered 14 years after. As

Most Watched Videos

View all posts

Graphic video shows baby born with heart outside her body

Tazmina Khatun, 28, gave a natural birth to her daughter in a government-run hospital on Wednesday in a nondescript village in Assam in northeast India.

"The adventures of Lola and Chuchu": Watch episode 2 of Nigerian animated series

Anthill Studios has released the second episode of its 13-episode animated series, "Adventures of Lola and Chuchu. In episode two titled "Let's Do This," Lola and

World's fattest woman sheds 260kg and now seeks for love (photos, video)

- The world's former fattest woman has lost 260kg and now is looking for a lover - The woman, aged 40, who was bed bound now

Nnamdi Kanu: 16 members of European parliament move against Buhari, DSS

- Sixteen members of the European parliament have asked the European Union High Commission to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari on the detention of Nnamdi Kanu -

Tiny rescue puppy twerks with delight while enjoying dinner

This tiny rescue puppy twerks while enjoying her dinner. It is reported that she required assistance to eat a week before this video was filmed.

Anti-corruption war: Former custom chief returns N1bn loot, mansion to FG (photo)

– Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko has been returning money to the federal government following his release by the EFCC – A mansion that also belonged to him

Most Read News

View all posts

FRSC restates commitment to check road crashes

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Saturday restated its commitment to check road traffic crashes in the country. The Corps Marshal, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, stated

Loan: We’ll be prudent, won’t borrow irresponsibly – Adeosun

Abuja – The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, disclosed on Sunday that the Federal Government would be prudent in the management of the country’s

Wizkid: Tekno squashes beef with pop star

Wizkid Tekno squashes beef with pop star The rift between Wizkid and Tekno appears to over as the duo were both seen at a club partying over

NARS declares BT Cowpea safe for human consumption

By Abdallah el-Kurebe‎ and Gabriel Ewepu KANO-AS more African countries join the Agric Biotech community and Nigeria prepares to commercialise the Bacillus Thuringiensis, BT, Cowpea, the

Most Watched Movies

Who Do I Love

Chantel is confused about who truly loves her between Rick, her rich boyfriend in the United States and David, a lowly house painter. This made

Inside Beauty 2

Nigerian Movies 2017|latest nollywood movies| 2017 Nigerian movies A twin born lady who was born with a scar on her face which made her feel

Inside Beauty 2

Nigerian Movies 2017|latest nollywood movies| 2017 Nigerian movies A twin born lady who was born with a scar on her face which made her feel

My Sister My World 2

Latest Nigerian Movies|2017 Latest Nigerian Movies|Nigerian Movies A twin born lady who was born with a scar on her face which made her feel so

Unknown Ceo

starring: Ebere Okaro, Roselyn Ngissah, Scoth Robert , to mention but a few...    

cron