5 May 2016
May 3rd marked the World Press Freedom Day; an important day for journalist and journalism worldwide. In Nigeria, press freedom took a good turn when former President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Freedom of Information Act in 2011, the one action taken during his tenure that still earns him praises and respect in certain quarters.
In keeping with the Act which was signed into law by Jonathan on the 28th of May 2011, the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) of the Federal Government of Nigeria earlier in the year began a revamp of its website – bpsr.gov.ng – to include the Freedom of Information Request Portal.
The FOI Act legally mandates public officers, authorities and institutions to provide public access to public records and information and to make these public records and information freely available to Nigerian citizens. To that effect, the portal includes an online application form for requesting access to information from the Bureau of Public Service Reforms as well as a downloadable sample application form for those who wish to submit a hardcopy request.
The portal also provides proactive disclosure in keeping with Section (2), subsection (3) of the act which provides that a public institution shall cause certain information to be published in accordance with subsection (4) of this Section.
Some of the information published on the portal include; Substantive rules of the institution, the names, salaries, dates of employment of all employees and officers of the institution, as well as the title and address of the appropriate officer of the institution to whom an application for information under this Act shall be sent to, among others.
Author: Aderonke Adeleke
Writer. Music lover. Movie junkie. Social Media Enthusiast. Aspiring dancer. Aspiring photographer. Social Introvert.