NOA bags FOI Act compliance award


By Aluta Me

Oct. 12, 2021

Six Civil Societies Organisations (CSOs) under the platform of the National Freedom of Information Cohort have honoured the National Orientation Agency (NOA) with 3rd Freedom of Information (FOI) Act compliance ranking.

The National Coordinator of Right to Know (R2K) Nigeria, Mrs Ene Nwankpa, presented the award to Dr Garba Abari,  Director-General of NOA on behalf of CSOs in Abuja on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CSOs are Basic Rights Watch, Budgit, International Centre for Investigative Reporting, Media Rights Agenda and Public Private Development Centre.

Nwankpa said that the CSOs were tasked with measuring the compliance level of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to the FOI Act for the purpose of ranking.

According to her, this was done by developing a methodology using provisions of the FOI Act 2011.

“The parameters for the ranking were as follows: proactive disclosure, responsiveness to requests for Information especially timeliness, level of disclosure and publication on the Nigeria Open Contracting Portal,’’ she said.

Nwankpa, who said that NOA took 17th place award in 2020, said NOA honoured with 3rd place award due to the launch of the 2021 annual National FOI Compliance and Rankings.

According to her, this assesses the level of compliance of public institutions with the provisions of the FOI Act 2011.

Responding, Abari, who expressed delight over the ranking, attributed the feat to the agency’s resilience and commitment to exceptional corporate practices.

He said that the agency had trained its directorate cadre staff to understand the provisions of the FOI Act with a view to arming them with knowledge for effective corporate implementation and public sensitization on the Act.

According to him, this has positioned our staff for responsiveness to the demands placed on them as public officers under the Act.

The director-general added that the agency also translated the FOI Act into 23 Nigerian languages including Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Alago, Ibibo, Igala, Tyap, Bachama, Kanuri, Bini, Fulfude, Egon, Urhobo, Gbagyi, Efik,Jju, Idoma and others.