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  • 26 May 2016

    Nigerian FOI Law Not Effectively Implemented

    Below is the concluding chapter from the April 2016 report by the Carter Center on its examination of selected agencies in Uganda using the Center’s Access to Information Legislation Implementation Assessment Tool, which is described in the report. Nigeria adopted a Freedom of Information law on May 28, 2011 when former President Goodluck Jonathan signed […]

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  • 5 May 2016

    World Bank Partially Denies Request for Nigerian Info

    The World Bank has partially denied an appeal by a Nigerian group for information about allegedly embezzled funds. The World Bank said the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) was 15 days too late to appeal and thus declined to examine SERAP’s contention that the Bank had failed to provide all of the requested information. However, […]

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News Archive

  • 28 April 2016

    Nigerian Commentary: Freedom of Dis-Information!

    By Eugene Enahoro The author describes himself on Twitter as an “HR & Capacity Development professional who writes Tuesday Column in Daily Trust Newspaper and concerns himself only with important matters.” This opinion article was first published in The Daily Trust. As the nation prepares to celebrate 17 years of uninterrupted civilian rule it’s quite […]

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  • 24 March 2016

    Redesigned Nigerian Website Permits Online Requests

    Right To Know (R2K), Nigeria and the Bureau for Public Service Reforms (BPSR) have launched a Freedom of Information portal designed to receive electronic FOI requests to the bureau. “This innovative website which is the first of it’s kind by any public institution in Nigeria has made it possible for the BPSR to fulfill it’s […]

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  • 2 March 2016

    Nigerian Judge Orders Release of Data on Looted Funds

    The Nigerian Federal High Court has ruled that the government must disclose information about stolen public funds, rejecting a government argument that the request covered a period before enactment of the freedom of information act. The court ordered the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to “ensure that his government, and the governments of former President […]

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  • 22 December 2015

    RTI and Progress on Anti-Corruption Efforts

    By Ayode Longe and Edetaen Ojo Longe is Programme Manager and Ojo is Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda. This report is one of the chapters in the State of RTI in Africa Report 2015. Reprinted with permission. Some, but not all,  footnotes have been converted to hot links. The Nigerian Freedom of Information (FOI) […]

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  • 6 October 2015

    RTK Nigeria Paints Picture of Dismal Government Effort

    The Right to Know Nigeria has released as study showing abysmal government performance on the disclosure of information. “Of a total of 39 government institutions assessed, the report finds that none had complied with the obligation to proactively disclose information – no institution obtained even a 20% compliance rating,” according to the Proactive Disclosure Assessment […]

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  • 1 October 2015

    Nigerian State to Adopt FOI Act, New Governor Says

    The governor of the state of Kaduna Nasir El-Rufai has announced plans to adopt the federal Freedom of Information Act, according to an article in ThisDayLive. A bill to “domesticate” the FOI law is before the state House of Assembly. He stressed that “the domestication of the FoI Act will not only bring about transparency […]

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  • 1 July 2015

    Nigerian Agency Denies Access to Official Asset Forms

    The Nigerian Code of Conduct Bureau has turned down a freedom of information request for the asset declaration forms of both President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, citing “personal privacy.” The declarations were sought by civil society organizations Stop Impunity Nigeria (SIN) and Centre for Social Justice (CENSOJ). The Bureau also argued that […]

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  • 1 July 2015

    FOIA Compliance Low in Nigeria

    This commentary was posted June 29, 2015, on the website of Center for Social Justice in Nigeria. The Freedom of Information Act 2011, according to its long title, was made as an Act to make public records and information more freely available, provide for public access to public records and information, protect public records and […]

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  • 8 April 2015

    Judge Orders Nigerian Parliament to Report Constituency Payments

    A Nigerian Federal High Court judge has ordered the National Assembly to disclose details of budgetary allocations made to individual legislators for physical projects and the details of the progress of the projects. Justice Abdu Kafarati issued the ruling in response to a of Information suit filed by the a nongovernmental organization, the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP). The […]

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  • 5 February 2015

    Nigeria FOI Advocates Seek More Training of Judges

    Nigerian Freedom of Information advocates on Feb. 2 called for “the sensitization of judges” about the Freedom of Information Act because many of them are issuing “decisions that are inconsistent with the spirit and letters of the Law.” In a communiqué at the end of their three-day Freedom of Information Implementers Strategy Meeting, held in […]

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  • 13 November 2014

    Nigeria: a case of progressive implementation

    By Edetaen Ojo and Ann Iyonu Ojo is Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda.  Iyonu is Program Officer, The Right to Information Initiative (R2K), Nigeria. This is a chapter from a recently issued State of Right to Information in Africa Report 2014 and is reprinted with permission. (See previous report.) Apart from the African Charter on Values and Principles of Public […]

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  • 12 November 2014

    Nigerian Judge Says FOI Law Not Applicable to States

    Nigerian Federal High Court Justice Okon Abang on Oct. 31 ruled that the 36 states of the federation are not subject to the national Freedom of Information Act. The judge ruled the FOI Act is only binding on the federal government and its agencies, rejecting a suit by The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), […]

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  • 21 October 2014

    Analyzing FOI Law Compliance in Four Nigerian Agencies

    This report is reprinted from the website of the Cleen Foundation. To download the full report, visit In March 2014, the Access Nigeria (AccessNG) project trained and deployed 12 representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs) to collaboratively access information from the government agencies at the fore of the fight against corruption and trans-national organized crimes […]

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  • 23 July 2014

    The Next Step for Nigerian FOIA: Compliance/Enforcement Stupid!*

    By Oluwasegun Obebe The Records, Information & Privacy Officer with the Department of Corrections, Washington, D.C., Obebe previously wrote an article for about the Nigerian FOI law in August 2013.  Obebe argues against automatic application of the federal law to the states. has written about a trend toward such application in the courts […]

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  • 27 June 2014

    Nigerian Courts Upholding FOIA Application in States

    The federal freedom of information should apply to the states, according to public interest group, citing a growing number of court decisions supporting that position and objected to a contrary interpretation by an official in the Lagos state government. The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) made the argument in a letter to the Lagos […]

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  • 17 February 2014

    Application of Nigerian FOI Law to States Contested

    Whether the new Nigerian freedom of information law automatically applies to the states remains an issue in the courts and the subject of lawyerly debates. One court ruling held that the 2011 FOI law did apply to the states. (See previous report.) A judge in Oyo ruled in November that the federal FOI law […]

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  • 21 November 2013

    Nigerian Judge Applies Federal FOI Law to States

    A Nigerian judge has ruled that the federal freedom of information law covers state governments. The Oyo State High Court said the 2011 FOI law it does not need to be domesticated by any state before taking effect in all the states across the federation. The presiding judge S.A Akinteye said the National Assembly’s actions […]

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  • 24 October 2013

    The Nigerian National Assembly Needs to Follow FOI Law

    By Yemi Ademolekun Adamolekun is the National Coordinator of Enough is Enough Nigeria. This article was first published Oct. 24 in Punch. The National Assembly was allocated N150bn ($1 bn) in the 2013 budget. Yes, it’s ONLY three per cent of the total budget of N4.987tn. However, the 469 men and women in the National […]

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  • 27 August 2013

    The Nigerian FOIA Picks a Useful Compass in the U.S. FOIA

    By Oluwasegun Obebe Obebe is the Records, Information & Privacy Officer with the Washington, D.C., Department of Corrections. Nigeria surely has a tempestuous post colonial history, and has garnered unenviable international notoriety as a corrupt country of swindlers and “419” scam artists. But the nation has also clearly shown an irrepressible drive toward a transparent and […]

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  • 2 August 2013

    Nigerian Official Urges Doubling of Reply Period

    The head of the Nigerian civil service, Bukar Aji, on July 30 recommended that the 2011 Freedom of Information Act be amended to allow 14 days instead of seven to respond to requests. Aji  spoke at National Conference on the Freedom of Information Act, organized by the Right to Know Initiative, in Abuja. He said […]

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  • 31 July 2013

    Nigerian Judge Has It All Wrong

    By Edetaen Ojo Ojo is Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda in Lagos, a  former Chair of the Steering Committee of and a member of the Working Group of the African Platform on Access to Information (APAI).This article was originally published on the Media Rights Agenda website. In a recent ruling, his lordship, Justice Gabriel […]

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  • 17 June 2013

    Nigeria Failing to Post Spending Data, Paper Says

    The Nigerian federal government is consistently failing to put information about spending online, according to an article by Ajibola Hamzat in The Guardian. Under the 2010 freedom of information law, Section 2(3 and 4), government agencies must  publish information including “information relating to the receipt or expenditure of public or other funds of the institution, […]

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  • 31 May 2013

    Nigerian Judiciary Supporting New FOI Law, Group Reports

    Court rulings in Nigeria are consistently upholding the two-year-old freedom of information law, according to a Nigerian watchdog group. Media Rights Agenda praised the judiciary, saying that most rulings have counteracted refusal to disclose information by public institutions. The May 28 press release cited a number of specific examples. MRA’s Deputy Executive Director Jennifer Onyejekwe […]

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  • 1 October 2012

    Nigerian Group Urges More Commitment to FOI Law

    The Right to Know coalition in Nigeria has called “for greater commitment” by the government to the provisions of the new freedom of information law. “R2K notes with great concern that 18 months after the enactment of the FOI Act there is no official gazetted copy of the Law. Worse still, public institutions are yet […]

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  • 13 August 2012

    Nigerian Energy Company Pledges to Follow FOI Law

    The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has promised to follow the 2011 Freedom of Information Act, according to a news report. Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Andrew Yakubu, said the NNPC management established a task force on the new law after it was passed “We have since internalized the contents of that report and […]

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  • 6 July 2012

    Nigerian Court Orders Disclosure by Assembly

    Amid a swirling controversy over President Goodluck Jonathan’s adamant “don’t give a damn” refusal to  disclose his assets, a Nigerian judge has ordered the National Assembly to disclose information on salaries, emoluments, and allowances received by its members between 2007 and 2011. The president’s statement has arroused heated debate and even involved the U.S. embassy. […]

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  • 21 June 2012

    Nigerian FOI Conference Focuses on Implementation

    Suggestions for implementation and use of the new Nigerian freedom of information law dominate the communiqué developed at the National Summit on the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, held in Abuja, Nigeria, June 18 and 19. The conference was attended by 164 participants from various sectors and interest groups, according to the organizers, the Media […]

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  • 3 February 2012

    Nigerian State of Ogun Will Pass FOI Law, AG Says

    The Ogun state government in Nigeria intends to pass a freedom of information bill on Feb. 29, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Wemimo Ogunde said recently, according to media reports. Ogune made the disclosure Feb. 1 at the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop on FOI, according to an article in Daily Trust by […]

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  • 25 August 2011

    FOI Notes: Africa, UNESCO, United States, United Kingdom

    West Africa: The Africa Freedom of Information Centre has issued a study on access to information in Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria. Follow this link, and got to bottom of listings. UNESCO: The online report on the 2010 UNESCO World Press Freedom Day meeting, on the theme of: “Freedom of Information: The Right to Know” is available. […]

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  • 7 July 2011

    Nigerian State of Ekiti Approves FOI Law

    Kayode Fayemi, governor of the Nigerian state of Ekiti State, signed a freedom of information act for his state on July 4. The legislation was described as a domestication” of the new Nigerian national FOIA law in report by Emma Maduabuchi in The Independent. The Nigerian law was signed in May. (See previous report.) […]

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  • 14 June 2011

    Nigeria Law One of the Best Says Advocate Edetaen Ojo

    The freedom of information bill that finally emerged in Nigeria is one of the best in the world, according to a key figure in the successful campaign for a FOI law in Nigeria. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda, gave an extensive interview to The Independent with Emma Maduabuchi, Assistant Features Editor. Ojo […]

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  • 13 June 2011

    Governor Proposes FOI Law for Nigerian State of Ekiti

    The Nigerian state of Ekiti governor, Kayode Fayemi, has sent a freedom of information bill to the State Assembly. Passage would make Ekiti the first state to pass a FOI law in the wake of a new national law being approved, according to a report by Davidson Iriekpen and Toba Suleiman in This Day. According […]

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  • 3 June 2011

    Nigerian President Signs Freedom of Information Bill

    Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has signed a freedom information bill. The president’s signature May 28 came 11 years after a FoI bill was first submitted to Nigeria’s 4th National Assembly in 1999. A bill was passed by both chambers in the first quarter of 2007, but was vetoed by President Olusegun Obasanjo. The newly enacted […]

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  • 25 May 2011

    Nigerian Assembly Passes Harmonized FOI Legislation

    The Nigerian Senate and House May 24 passed a harmonized version of the Freedom of Information bill worked out bv a Joint Conference Committee. Advocates are urging President Goodluck Jonathan, who has previously stated his support for a FOI law, to sign the bill, and key legislators are predicting it will become law. However, Next […]

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  • 24 May 2011

    Is Transparency Losing in Fight With Corruption?

    The influence of transparency on fighting corruption was questioned in several papers presented at The First Global Conference on Transparency Research held May 19-20 at Rutgers University-Newark, N.J. (See overall report in The Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) “has at best been ineffective in the fight against corruption in Nigeria, and the assumed […]

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  • 6 May 2011

    Nigerian FOI Bill One of Last Items on Assembly Agenda

    With less than a month to go until the end of the parliamentary session in Nigeria, the freedom of information bill will be a priority, according to Senate officials. The big task remaining, however, is to harmonize the House and Senate bills, and a joint committee to do the job has not been appointed.   Nevertheless, […]

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  • 8 April 2011

    Bar Group Urges Passage of FOI Legislation in Nigeria

    The Human Rights Institute of The Nigerian Bar Association this week advocated for passage of freedom of information legislation. A letter signed by Festus Okoye, the secretary of the Institute, highlighted the nine major differences between the version passed by the Senate and that passed by the House.  A joint committee has been named to […]

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  • 19 March 2011

    Source Disclosure Clause in FOI Bill Riles Nigerian Press

    Nigerian media groups are lambasting a provision inserted by the Nigerian Senate into its version of the freedom of information bill that would require journalists to disclose their sources , according to media reports such as one in The Nation. The president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Garba Muhammed, called it a “watered […]

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  • 16 March 2011

    Nigerian Senate Passes Modified FOI Legislation

    The Nigerian Senate March 16 passed a freedom of information bill considered weaker than the House bill and a “harmonization conference committee” has been appointed to resolve the differences. During debate March 15, the Senate amended the bill to eliminate a provision that would have required requesters to demonstrate “the need” for disclosure of the […]

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  • 4 March 2011

    Nigerian Senate President Says FOI Bill Needs Change

    The president of the Nigerian Senate March 3 said that a freedom of information bill will pass before next month’s elections, but suggested that changes are necessary. While saying that half a bill would be better than no bill, he offered no specifics, according to news reports, but stressed a need for the media to be responsible […]

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  • 1 March 2011

    One Jonathan Adviser Undercuts Another on FOI Bill

    The Special Adviser to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Media, Imma Niboro, has distanced the president from remarks by another presidential advisor that were sharply critical of the pending freedom of information bill. Nibora told reporters March 1 that Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Mohammed Abba-Aji, was speaking only for himself when he strongly […]

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  • 1 March 2011

    Adviser to Nigerian President Opposes FOI Legislation

    Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on National Assembly Matters, former senator Mohammed Abba Aji, vowed Feb. 28 to scuttle freedom of information legislation. The leader of a key Senate committee, however, told The Vanguard newspaper that the bill will pass.  FOI legislation recently passed in the House (See previous report.) Chairman of the […]

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  • 25 February 2011

    Nigerian House Passes FOI Bill Without Opposition

    The Nigerian House of Representatives Feb. 24 passed a freedom of information bill without opposition. Senate action is still required. The action by the House, however, was a major step forward after the bill seemed to have stalled in 2010.  FOI legislation has been pending in Nigeria for 11 years and had not been debated […]

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  • 18 February 2011

    Nigerian House Speaker Promises Action on FOI Bill

    The Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Dimeji  Bankole, has said the House will get committee reports soon on Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation, according to media reports such as one by Shola Adekola in The Nigerian Tribune. The House is awaiting a report on the bill from two committees. Bankole said he expects […]

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  • 11 February 2011

    Nigerian House Votes to Advance FOI Legislation

    The Nigerian House Feb. 10 voted to speed up action on freedom of information legislation that has been pending for 11 years. In an unexpected move, the House sent the measure for  “thorough scrutiny” by two of its committees — Information and National Orientation and Justice — withdrawing a 2007 order that had held the bill up. The […]

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  • 11 February 2011

    Three Nigerian States Advancing Openness Reforms

    By Toby McIntosh Frustrated with lack of action on freedom of information legislation at the national level, three states in Nigeria are taking steps to bring more transparency to the state level. Three states are considering action – Ekiti, Lagos and Rivers, according to Nigerian activists and media accounts.   The state efforts are occurring […]

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  • 17 January 2011

    Nigerian House Member Pledges Action on FOI Bill

    A key Nigerian legislator has promised to move forward with freedom of information legislation, according to media accounts. In related developments, Nigerian editors urged passage of a FOI law and a top government minister spoke out for FOI and media reform at a regional conference. The chairman of the House Committee on Information, Ahmed Aliu […]

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  • 10 December 2010

    Nigerian Senate President Says No 2010 Action on FOI

    The Senate President of Nigeria, David Mark, has ruled out action this year on freedom of information legislation.   Speaking to the Nigerian Union of Journalists, who gave him an award as the Most Outstanding Speaker of the Decade, Mark linked passage of the bill with the creation of a board to oversee the activities […]

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  • 3 September 2010

    Nigerian Legislator Blames Media for Holding Up FOI Bill

    A key Nigerian legislator has indicated that passage of a Freedom of Information bill is conditional on the inclusion of provisions concerning media responsibility. His position drew a rebuttal from groups supporting the long-stalled FOI bill. Iyiola Omisore, chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, “has blamed journalists for the delay of the passage of […]

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  • 20 August 2010

    FOIA Prospects in Nigeria Called Grim

        “The prospects for a Freedom of Information Act under the present government in Nigeria look grim, unless we can take decisive action to rescue the situation,” Media Rights Agenda Executive Director Edetaen Ojo told a conference in Lagos, according to a newspaper report.       The distraction of the coming elections is a problem, he […]

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  • 12 July 2010

    Nigerian Legislator Discounts FOI Bill’s Chances

    The long-running effort to pass a Freedom of Information law in Nigeria continues to face serious challenges, according to recent media reports. Ahmed Aliyu Wadada, the new chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Information and National Orientation, told reporters July 6 that passage this year was not guaranteed but that lawmakers were working […]

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  • 22 March 2006

    EBRD Seeks Comment on Draft of New Disclosure Policy

    At the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the board recently released a proposal to modify its disclosure policies, with comments due April 14. The EBRD included in its announcement a number of new provisions. First, two new categories of information would be disclosed: General Institutional Information and Accountability and Governance. Second, the EBRD […]

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Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999)


Freedom of Information Law (2011)


Fiscal Responsibility Act (2007)


Statistics Act (2007)


National Archives Decree (1992)



Right to Know


Freedom of Information Coalition


International Press Center



Measuring Openness

Global Right to Information Rating
A country-by-country rating of laws by the Centre for Democracy and Law and Access Info.

Freedom House
The Freedom in the World report.

World Bank
Worldwide Governance Indicators

Transparency International, Corruption Perceptions Index
Measures perceptions of the degree of corruption.

Reporters Without Borders
The Press Freedom Index.