By Sunday Oyinloye
Just as Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable predicted in its 27th September, 2021 edition, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has emerged first position at the 2021 National FOI Compliance & Transparency Ranking out of the 213 Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) that were assessed.
Bureau of Public Service Reforms came second while National Orientation Agency came third.
The parameters for the ranking were proactive disclosure, responsiveness in the request for information, level of disclosure, FOI training, and timeliness.
The announcement was made at the unveiling ceremony in Abuja and was co-organised by six civil society organisations: the Basic Right Watch (BRW), BudgIT, and International Centre for Investigative Reporting, Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Public & Private Development Centre (PPDC) and Right to Know (R2K), who partnered to ensure a robust evaluation across agencies. The judges considered the existence of FOI Desk Officer, publication, submission of statutory annual FOIA compliance report amongst other criteria.
NIPC consecutively took the second-best position in the last 2 years – 2020 and 2019 a considerable milestone from its previous ranking of 17th in 2018, and 75th in 2017.
In a Press Release signed by NIPC’s Head Press &Protocol, Daniel Awurum, the efforts of management at better governance, proactive compliance and transparency resulted in the materially improved ranking in the years leading from 2016 to 2021.
“It is particularly pleasing that this impressive ranking was achieved by an internal commitment to continuous improvement without the help of an external consultant. Since 2017, NIPC management and staff have worked diligently on the proactive disclosure of all required information. “The Commission updated its website with a dedicated FOI section and trained all staff. Since mid-2017 to date, the Commission has proactively published information of its budgets and financial performance, companies listed under the NIPC Act, procurement, court cases, etc. The Commission also proactively published information on pioneer status applications processed. This information is updated every quarter and can be accessed at FOI section of NIPC’s website” he said