Nigerian FOI bill not full freedom

FOI billThe Freedom of Information Bill which might be passed by the National Assembly will not guarantee the public total access to information about governance in Nigeria.

The FOI bill has lots of restrictions. It forbids people from asking questions about the government’s diplomatic transactions. It also forbids sharing information on the government’s economic interest and a host of other unspecified information any public officer could rely on to deny an applicant information.

Even though the bill has a lot of loop holes as it was passed by the House of Representatives, the senate president, David Mark, recently warned it will be “watered down” more.

When it is eventually passed, I guess there will be no grip left in the bill. More, even the little information you might get afterward will cost you a “reasonable amount” to be charged by the offering agency.


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