The Freedom of information Act (FOIA), 2011 was enacted by the National Assembly on May 24, 2011 and assented to by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on May 28, 2011.
By its passage, the FOIA superseded the Official Secrets Act, 1911 which forbade the unauthorized disclosure, transmission, obtaining, reproduction or retention of any classified information. The FOIA is applicable to both Public Institutions and Private Organizations that provide Public Services and perform Public functions utilizing public funds.
The basis for Freedom of Information is that public officials are custodians of public trust on behalf of persons who have a right to know what they do. The FOIA attempts to remove the hitherto mystery of the operations of government and public institutions and seeks to change the manner in which public records are kept and information stored about the activities, operations and businesses of the public institution.
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Frequently asked Questions
The FOIA establishes the right of any person, group, association or organization to access to information from Government Agencies, Parastatals, Federal Civil Service, Public and Private Sector organizations performing Public Services and utilizing Public funds.
Right to information is a Fundamental Human Right contained in Section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). The Act seeks to achieve the following objectives:
Any person, individual, group, association or organization can make a FOI request.
Applications made under the FOIA must comply with the following requirements:
*Kindly note that a fee will be charged for the cost of processing the requested information, searches, duplication and transmission of hard copies, diskettes and flash drive.
Who is responsible for handling Information Requests?
The FOI Sub-Unit is responsible, for prompt handling of your request, send to:
The Director General/Chief Executive,
National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency,
5th Floor, NAIC Building, Plot 590, Zone AO,
P.M.B. 145 Garki,
Central Business District, Abuja.
ATTN: Head, FOI Sub-Unit
Electronic request can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Requests are responded to within 7 working days of receipt with an additional 7 working days where consultations are necessary in compilation of the information sought or where the application is for a large number of records.
Requests may be redirected where the Agency thinks another institution may have greater interest in the request.
Though the Act gives unfettered access to information to everyone, it also exempts the following:
Kindly note that the FOIA does not apply to the under listed materials:
The Agency shall endeavor to promptly respond to a request within the stipulated time limit. The response includes grant of the information, redirection or denial based on the statutory exemptions.
Yes, a requester can apply to the Federal High Court within 30 days of the denial for Judicial review where he believes he is wrongfully denied access to information.