FOI in Nigeria Health Sector – Understanding the Issues & Need for Appraisal and Education.

Abstract

The lady Helen child health foundation research group in a questionnaire based study decided to test the FOI Act 2011 in action by sending out request to selected health institutions within the federal capital territory. This is primarily to test their understanding of some provisions of the FOI Act 2011 in relation to response time, provision of non exempt information, their interpretation of relevant sections of the act or misinterpretations, and to check the accuracy of received information against available national data.

 The analysis of the responses indicates a clear disparity in understanding and interpretation of the provisions of the FOI Act. Some Institutions gave different interpretation to the same article of the FOI Act. There was a general perception that the lack of visible sanctions gives an impression that the officials deliberately fail to adhere to the principles of the FOI Act 2011.

 There is therefore the need for re-education of public workers on the need to implement correctly the provisions of the Act.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) should be aware of the need to correctly implement the articles of the FOI Act and put arrangements in place to address the inept actions of some its agencies in relation to the correct implementation of the Act.

References

  1. Freedom Of Information Act (FOI) 2011; laws of the federation of Nigeria
  1. Freedom Of Information; ICRC ; icrc.gov.ng
  1. FOI Act In Nigeria; Working or Not; connecteddevelopment.org
  1. Inokoba PK ; Freedom of Information Act and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria; Projects and Challenges; International Journal of Development and Sustenability; Vol. 3 No. 12 (2014) 2258 – 2271.
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