The Freedom of Information Act: Creating a Template for Good Governance in Nigeria?
14 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2016
Date Written: September 30, 2016
The paper examines Nigeria’s Freedom of Information Act, 2011 on access to information in the context of the entrenched culture of secrecy in the conduct of government business, the resultant exclusion, lack of responsible government, endemic corruption, massive infrastructural gaps, grim poverty, underdevelopment and growing insecurity in the country. The paper analysed the freedom of information legislation, the high expectation that greeted the coming into effect of the norm setting law and its potentials in serving as a template for fostering inclusion, transparency and accountability in public service towards the enthronement of good governance in Nigeria. The paper concludes that the freedom of information law has potential to foster inclusion and good governance in Nigeria if properly utilised. The paper however recommends, among others, that if freedom of information is to be taken seriously in Nigeria, there is need for government to deploy massive resources towards the promotion and education on freedom of information law in order to encourage its effective use and bring about the desired positive changes in public service and governance; and that judicial officers should be trained on access to information rights and implementation of the Nigerian legislation in order to build their capacity to efficiently adjudicate on cases that may be brought before them.
Keywords: Access, Governance, Information, Transparency
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