Freedom Forum, as an organization working for the right to information, democracy, human rights and press freedom in Nepal since its inception in 2005, welcomes the Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill in Nigeria which Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed on May 28, 2011.
Although the Bill has been signed after 11 years of its submission to the Nigeria's 4th National Assembly, Freedom Forum hopes it will help create wave of democratic culture by protecting and promoting people's right to information and of expression.
With this, Nigeria became the 98th country to introduce the Freedom of Expression Bill.
The newly enacted Freedom of Information Act guarantees the right of access to information held by public institutions, irrespective of the form in which it is kept and is applicable to private institutions where they utilize public funds, perform public functions or provide public services. It requires all institutions to proactively disclose basic information about their structure and processes and mandates them to build the capacity of their staff to effectively implement and complies with the provisions of the Act; provides protection for whistleblowers and others.
With the enactment of new law on freedom of information, Freedom Forum believes, Nigerian people will feel the democratic practice with good governance, empowered civil society and accountable and transparent government activities.
Moreover, Freedom Forum congratulates Nigerian people for having the FoI Bill enacted.