The International Press Centre (IPC) in collaboration with Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and the Freedom of Information Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice held a two-day workshop for FoI Desk Officers of Public Institutions on the establishment of a Freedom of Information online engagement platform.
The workshop was aimed at building 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.
The highpoint of the workshop was an agreement to establish an online Freedom of Information platform for FoI Desk Officers to facilitate collaboration and information and experience sharing in order to enhance effective implementation of the FOI Act.
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.
Participants at the capacity building event acknowledged the crucial role of access to information in a democratic setting, observing that for democracy to thrive there is need for transparency and accountability.
In addition, they observed that the poor state of record-keeping in public institutions constitutes a serious obstacle to the effective implementation of the Act as good record keeping and management are an essential foundation for an access to information regime amongst others.
Present at the training were: Executive Director, International Press Centre (IPC), represented by Stella Nwofia, Programme, Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA), 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