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FOI Act, Presidency and Anti-Corruption War in Nigeria

In the last 2 ½ years, Nigerian president, Muhammed Buhari has been preaching the gospel of fighting corruption headlong.

‘I am for everybody and I am for nobody’ were the words of Buhari when he took over the leadership of our beloved country from Dr Goodluck Jonathan.

In my limited understanding of these words, the president was telling the world that at every point in time, his words and deeds will be to the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians, no matter the situation.

But, is he winning the corruption war? Some will say yes, others will say no. However, researchers should dig out the facts, as opposed to fiction.

In my country, corruption is a common word. It is endemic and the fight is tough, unpredictable and complex.

I read an article by Media Right Agenda, where it named the presidency as the latest inductee into its Freedom of Information (FOI) Hall of Shame.

The article accused the presidency of gross failure of leadership and setting a bad example for other public institutions in the implementation of the FOI Act.

I do not know if Buhari or any of his media guys have read this article. I suggest they do.

It may hurt, it may sound embarrassing, it may sound unpatriotic on face value, but the article is factual and I do not have to spoon feed my beloved readers here.

Freedom of Information Act is a potent tool for openness, accountability, sincerity and transparency in governance at various levels.

The Buhari I know is a man of integrity and credibility, though he is not perfect, just like me.

It was Dr Goodluck Jonathan, former Nigerian president that signed the FOI Act into law in 2011.

But, did Jonathan fare better in opening up his government to the public? I do not think so. But again reach out for the facts.

Six years down the line, Media Right Agenda has scored the Buhari regime terribly low in marching words with actions, using FOI Act as a potent tool in the fight against corruption.

FOI is all about people requesting for and obtaining information from government agencies, parastatals or ministries on any issues related to governance or the daily activities of these agencies.

Pretending that FOI Act does not exist or trying to discourage people from getting information on governance at various levels in Nigeria is not doing the war on corruption any good.

Buhari is ready to fix the country. But, he should also open up the presidency as this will encourage other government agencies to stop running their activities like secret societies.

People also ask

The major anticorruption institutions with prevention mandates include the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission-(EFCC)

Corruption runs through every level of Nigerian government. From massive contract fraud at the top, through petty bribery, money laundering schemes, embezzlement and seizing salaries from fake workers, it is estimated that corruption within the state apparatus costs the country billions of dollars every year.

  1. Angola.
  2. Botswana.
  3. Cameroon.
  4. Chad.
  5. Congo.
  6. Egypt.
  7. Equatorial Guinea.
  8. Eritrea.

In Africa, only 12 countries are perceived to be more corrupt than Nigeria. They are Zimbabwe, Chad, Eritrea, Burundi, Congo, Guinea Bissau, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Somalia and South Sudan. Both Somalia and South Sudan were ranked as the most corrupt nations on eart