The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has emerged first position at the 2021 National Freedom of Information (FOI) Compliance and Transparency Ranking, out of the 213 Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) assessed.
According to the announcement on NIPC’s website, the parameters for the ranking were proactive disclosure, responsiveness in the request for information, level of disclosure, FOI training, and timeliness.
The announcement was made at the unveiling ceremony held on Sept. 28 and was co-organised by six civil society organisations: the Basic Right Watch (BRW), BudgIT, and International Centre for Investigative Reporting.
Others were Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) and Right to Know (R2K), who partnered to ensure a robust evaluation across agencies.
The report stated that judges considered the existence of FOI Desk Officer, publication, submission of statutory annual FOIA compliance report among other criteria.
“NIPC consecutively took the second-best position in the last two years – 2020 and 2019 a considerable milestone from its previous ranking of 17th in 2018, and 75th in 2017.
“The efforts of Management at better governance, proactive compliance and transparency resulted in the materially improved ranking in the years leading from 2016 to 2021.
“It is particularly pleasing that this impressive ranking was achieved by an internal commitment to continuous improvement without the help of an external consultant,’’ the report said.
The report noted that since 2017, NIPC management and staff have worked diligently on proactive disclosure of all required information and updated its website with a dedicated FOI section and trained all staff.
It further stated that since mid-2017 to date, the commission has proactively published information of its budgets and financial performance, companies listed under the NIPC Act, procurement and court cases, among others.
The Commission also proactively published information on pioneer status applications processed.
“NIPC Management is delighted with the 2021 ranking and is committed to instilling a culture of compliance with all statutory obligations,’’ it said.
This information is updated every quarter and can be accessed at FOI section of NIPC’s website