Fidelity bank banner UBA banner
MRA inducts PTDF into ‘FOI Hall of Shame’, expresses concern over FG’s failure to act

By News Express on 22/10/2018

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 326


Media Rights Agenda (MRA) today named the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) its 65th inductee into the “Freedom of Information (FOI) Hall of Shame”, saying it was extremely concerned about the pervasive culture of non-compliance with the FOI Act across government institutions with no single one of them having ever been sanctioned for violating the Law.

In a statement in Lagos, MRA’s FOI Programme Manager, Mr. Ridwan Sulaimon, said: “We are gravely concerned that in an administration that came to power riding on the promise of change, with a pledge to institute transparency and accountability in governance and fight corruption, there is no single instance where the government has taken measures to sanction public institutions under its direct control which are violating the FOI Act and thereby advancing the culture of secrecy in government which enables corruption to thrive.”  

According to him, “By its failure to rigorously implement the FOI Act and sanction public institutions and officials that wilfully violate the Law, the Federal Government is sending a signal to all government institutions and officials that it will condone their transgressions. The Government is thereby wittingly or unwittingly encouraging public institutions to break the law with an assurance of impunity.”

Mr. Sulaimon noted that “the PTDF is the fifth public institution in the oil and gas sector to be inducted into the FOI Hall of Shame in just over one year, which is clear evidence of a systematic and institutionalised culture of secrecy that envelopes the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, fuelled by a widespread conspiracy to frustrate any effort to make the sector transparent and accountable to the public.”

According to him, public institutions in the sector that have previously been inducted into the FOI Hall of Shame are the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which was inducted in July 2017; the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), inducted in March 2018; the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, inducted in June 2018; and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), which was inducted in August 2018.

He stressed that “this situation strongly suggests that there is a sector-wide resistance to transparency and accountability, which should be a matter of concern to all Nigerians, given that our economic fortunes are largely dependent on the same sector.”

Mr. Sulaimon further said: “We continue to be confounded by this incredible reality that despite all the revelations about the violation of the FOI Act and other laws by these institutions, the routine disregard for other rules and regulations by the institutions and the level of corruption plaguing the sector, which has impoverished the country and its citizens, the government appears totally helpless to intervene as no single official has been held accountable.”

Explaining the basis of PTDF’s induction, he said the institution was assessed based on at least five of the key obligations of public institutions under the FOI Act and the Attorney-General’s Guidelines on the Implementation of the FOI Act, noting that, just like its sister institutions earlier inducted into the FOI Hall of Shame, the PTDF failed woefully in all the indices.

Mr. Sulaimon said the PTDF was assessed on the level of compliance with its obligations to provide information to members of the public on request, submit annual implementation reports to the Attorney-General of the Federation, proactively publish defined sets of information, train its staff and officials on the public’s right of access to information as well as to designate and publish the contact details of its FOI Desk Officer.

On the obligation to provide information on request, he noted that “Important statistical data and information to assess the level of compliance with this duty are unavailable as a result of the failure of the PTDF to submit its annual implementation reports to the Attorney-General of the Federation. We are, therefore, unable to determine the number of applications for information that the PTDF has received and number of such applications that it processed. We also do not know how many requests for information it has granted or denied over the years.”

But Mr. Sulaimon said: “While there is no indication that the PTDF has ever granted any request for information, we are aware that the institution has been sued by the Abuja-based non-governmental organisation, the Public and Private Development Centre, for failing to provide the organisation the information that it requested.”

He observed that between 2011, when the FOI Act was enacted, and February 1, 2018, the PTDF ought to have submitted seven annual reports to the Attorney-General of the Federation on its implementation of the Act, but the institution has not submitted any report during this period, in breach of Section 29 of the Act.

Mr. Sulaimon also accused the PTDF of failing to fulfil its proactive disclosure obligations under Section 2 of the Act as it has not published either on any its website, or anywhere else, the 16 categories of information that it is required by the Act to publish and disseminate widely to members of the public through various means, including print, electronic and online.

According to him, although Section 13 of the FOI Act requires every government or public institution to ensure the provision of appropriate training for its officials on the public’s right of access to information and records held by the institution for the effective implementation of the Act, the PTDF has also failed to comply with this provision.

On the PTDF’s obligation to designate an FOI Desk Officer, Mr. Sulaimon said the Database of FOI Desk Officers available at the Federal Ministry of Justice, which is the oversight institution for the implementation of the FOI Act, indicates that the PTDF has not designated any official to whom requests for information should be made and has not published the name of any such official as required by Section 2(3)(f) of the Act.

He called on the Media, civil society organisations and other stakeholders to focus attention on the PTDF and its activities, noting that such complete opacity in an institution which has been given enormous resources and the responsibility for training and educating Nigerians to become professionals and experts in the petroleum industry calls for scrutiny.

 

Source News Express

Posted 22/10/2018 7:35:03 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
2 Nigerians shot in Italy

Gunmen kill banker on East-West road

D’banj’s son drowns month after celebrating first birthday...

Court refuses to release Nnamdi Kanu’s cash and...

BREAKING NEWS: Stephen Keshi dies suddenly

Sultan laments social media effect on Nigerian girls...

It will be a cloudy day spiced with...

Akwa Ibom Govt. dismisses Senator Udoedehe’s assassination claims...

US-African Export–Import Investment Forum 2014 promotes Africa as...

20 foreign investors eye Akwa Ibom •Udom tasks...

Buhari needs prayers —PDP •Says he and APC...

Police arrests driver for supplying fuel, food to...

 

Latest News BREAKING NEWS: Igbo leaders meet in Enugu, set to endorse Atiku/Obi FG denies landing permit to UN representative heading for Benue How former governor blew N5.7b on politics: Ex-aide Cross River Traditional Rulers Council bans installation of Eze Ndigbo Monkey kills 12-day-old baby Lai Mohammed diverting ministry’s funds towards Buhari’s re-election — PDP Osinbajo issues fraud alert on TraderMoni Uzodinma, Imo APC governorship candidate, snubs presidential panel Labour issues December ultimatum for N30,000 minimum wage Troops kill two terrorists, rescue 16 captives in Borno Senators query reduction of MTN $8.1bn fine to $800m Airline operators, FG differ over multiple routes for foreign carriers

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (420,062 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (389,507 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (322,301 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (270,936 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (243,702 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (227,282 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (208,693 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (190,175 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (175,500 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (168,370 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (164,829 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (151,782 views)

 

Zenith Zero Balance First Bank banner

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (72) Business & Economy (3,787) Business Verdict (54) Columnists (959) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (208) Entertainment (566) Features (668) Global Business Monitor (309) International (2,677) Interview (166) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (146) Maggie's Blog (33) News (40,521) Opinion (1,140) Pidgin (13) Politics (7,709) Religion (896) Sports (1,771) Stock Watch (35) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera