Freedom of information is an integral part of human rights. It is an efficient tool for citizen empowerment and holding the government accountable. When citizens have access to crucial government information, hiding abuses of power and other illegal activities become difficult.
Freedom of information is recognised worldwide, both in paper and practice, as there are laws for its entrenchment. Such laws serve as empowerment for citizens to satisfy their information needs about the government. Due to this glaring fact, combined to achieve good governance through social accountability and active citizenship. The Future Project (TFP), a developmental organization dedicated to building a network of empowered citizens, has commenced her campaign’s final phase, the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
The Freedom of Information campaign aims to enhance transparency in government and inculcate growing activism among the younger generation on how the government operates. The campaign, which is borne out of the fact that most citizens are oblivious of precisely the FOI Act and its applicability in holding the government accountable.
The campaign started with creating a dedicated website that sensitised the public, with a series of articles, infographics made to enlighten the public about the Act. An introductory animation video on what the FOI act is and how to make an FOI request was created to increase awareness further.
The campaign’s final phase was a (2) days training workshop between February 26th & 27th, targeted at young people between the ages of 18 to 35. The workshop is aimed at empowering social innovators and policy-focused young Nigerians with the knowledge of the FOI Act, which, when leveraged, will help strengthen accountability and transparency among public officials and institutions.
The training facilitators include Usman Alabi (an experienced political scientist, policy analyst who currently leads The Think Tank group on NESG). Bukonla Adebakin (the Senior Advisor, The Future Project. Who is also a seasoned administrator with years of experience in project management, research and data analysis and media for Enterprise Strategy and Execution). Dr Ifeoma Oluwasemilore (specialist in Intellectual Property and Related Rights, with a keen interest in policy framework to enhance and develop youth and gender entrepreneurship in Africa). Tolutope Agunloye (the team lead of the Open Government and Institutional Partnership and BudgIT, Abuja).
In the final phase, the trainees were inducted as ambassadors. Having gone through rigorous training, they are equipped with knowledge of interfacing with the Act & engaging public officials at the #YMonitorFOI Training Workshop with demonstrated expertise and experience.
The FOI campaign will conclude with the YMonitor FOI Ambassadors spread across the country, distributing the step-by-step request guides across the nation, also engaging public officials in their respective states.
The Future Project will continue to be committed to changing the narrative of leadership and citizenship in Nigeria and across Africa. To watch the introductory animation video, download the FOI request guide, see activities from the training workshop & view the profiles of the Ambassadors, visit here
The FOI project is presented by YMonitor, The Future Project and National Endowment for Democracy. Follow @Y_Monitor on all social media platforms to keep up with the latest news and updates.