Research into Existing Laws Identifies Opportunities for Public Access to Information

LAGOS, Wednesday, January 25, 2012:  The first in a series of sensitization workshops aimed at familiarizing various sectors of the Nigerian society with the Freedom of Information Act and increasing their usage of the Law begins in Kaduna tomorrow.

The workshops are being organized by Media Rights Agenda (MRA) with support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the United Kingdom through the British High Commission in Abuja.

The Kaduna workshop which will take place on January 26 and 27, 2012, will be declared opened by the Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency Giles Lever. It will bring together representatives of civil society and grassroots organizations in the North East, North West and North Central zones of the country.

The objective of the workshop is to improve the understanding of civil society and grassroots organizations of the Freedom of Information Act and build their capacity to effectively make use of the Act to obtain information of interest to them or relevant to their work from various public institutions as well as to monitor the effective implementation of the Law.

Similar workshops will take place in Calabar on February 6 and 7, for representatives of civil society and grassroots organizations in the South East and South South zones; and in Lagos on February 10 and 11, for organizations in the South West zone.

In addition to the workshops for representatives of civil society and grassroots organizations, other workshops will be held for journalists from the print and broadcast media in Abuja on January 30 and 31 and in Kaduna on February 14 and 15.

Another workshop will also be held in March for information officers from selected Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies to also sensitize them on the implementation of the Act.

The workshops are part of a wider project to increase the level of participation in governance by citizens, using the Freedom of Information Act.  Other aspects of the project include reprinting of copies of the Freedom of Information Act to make the text of the Law more widely available to the public than is currently the case as well as producing and printing copies of a Citizen’s Guide to the Freedom of Information Act to assist ordinary citizens to have a better understanding the provisions of the Law and how to use it.

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Mr. Ayode Longe

Senior Programme Officer, Media Rights Agenda

Tel: 01-761 6803

Mobile: 0802 329 8628

E-mail: ayode@mediarightsagenda.net

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