The Freedom of Information Act was passed by the National Assembly on 24th May 2011 and assented by President Goodluck Jonathan on 28th May, 2011.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) supersedes the Official Secrets Act (OSA), originally enacted in 1911, which forbade the unauthorised transmission, obtaining, reproduction, or retention of any classified matter. The Act applies not only to public institutions but also to private organisations providing public services, performing public functions or utilising public funds.
The underlying philosophy of Freedom of Information is that public servants are custodians of a public trust on behalf of a population who have a right to know what they do. In particular, the FOIA promises to remove the aura of mystery and exclusion with which public servants cloak the ordinary operations of government and public institutions. It also seeks to change the manner in which public records and information are managed.
Before you make a request
You might not need to make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request if we have:
- already published the information
- previously responded to an FOI request