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Nigeria’s President Jonathan signs Freedom of Information Bill into law

01/06/2011

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AFP Pius Utomi Ekpei

The signing of the Freedom of Information Act into law by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signals a victory for Nigerians who have fought a long battle to institutionalise transparency and accountability as pillars of governance in Nigeria.

“With the new law, Nigerians finally have vital tools to uncover facts, fight corruption and hold officials and institutions accountable,” Ms Ene Enonche, Coordinator of the Right to Know initiative, said.

Under the new legislation, all institutions spending public funds will have to be open about their operations and expenditure while citizens will have the right to access information about their activities. Whistleblowers who report malfeasance by their employers or organisations will be protected from reprisals.

“The new law will profoundly change how government works in Nigeria . Now we can use the oxygen of information and knowledge to breathe life into governance. It will no longer be business as usual“, Maxwell Kadiri , Associate Legal Officer, Open Society Justice Initiative.

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