The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has emerged as number one public institutions in the 2019 National Freedom of Information (FOI) Ranking.
This was the submission of the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) in collaboration with other Civil Society Organisations such as Connected Development, Budgit, Media Rights Agenda and Right to Know (R2K).
The ranking was disclosed in Abuja on Thursday at the Launch of FOI compliance and transparency ranking and Open State Government Ranking (OSGR).
Mrs Nkem Ilo , Chief Executive Officer of PPDC with other CSOs leaders said that NERC pooled with a cumulative of 6 7.5 points accrued from partial proactive disclosure and timely response to request for information.
She said the commission also top in FOI training and full disclosure of requested information while Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission and Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission came second with 57.5 points.
“The parameters for the ranking is follows; Proactive Disclosure, Responsiveness to request for information (Timeliness), Level of disclosure, FOI Training, FOI Desk Officers and FOI Annual Reporting.
” As other public institutions continue to strive for full proactive disclosure of information, the same cannot be said about security sector agencies, who ranked poorly this year as a result of compliance to the FOIA.
” The Federal Fire Service ranked higher than other security sector institutions with a low point of 22.5 keeping them ahead of the pack.”
She added also that out of 36 states in the country, Kaduna and Ekiti State came first in open state government ranking.
Meanwhile, Mrs Ene Nwankpa from R2K said the essence of the ranking was to ensure compliance with the purpose of given access to information by public institutions.
Nwankpa also noted that we can drive the act faster with the right corporation from everyone.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the FOIA which is now eight years old was signed into law by former Goodluck Jonathan.
The FOIA was enacted in 2011, to make public records and information more freely available, provide for public access to public records and information, protect public records and information to the extent consistent with the public interest and the protection of personal privacy.
Unveiling the National Freedom Of Information Ranking Mr Hamzat Lawal of CODE, said parameters used in the assessment of the MDAs cut across proactive disclosure of information, level of disclosure and timeliness.
Hamzat, who also listed FOI training for staff, establishment of FOI Desk office and FOI annual reporting as other criteria used in the exercise, challenged government institutions to always make available information on procurement and service delivery to the people in order to ensure transparency in all government activities.
Highpoint of the event was a panel session themed ‘Data, Institutions and Good Governance’, which saw the presentations of award to the three agencies that came top in the ranking.