MINISTRY OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT REPEATEDLY IGNORES FOI REQUEST
- The editorial board of Youthhub Africa, a Nigerian based Pan-African web portal with interest in the democratising access to information for young people especially policies as it affects them have made two request based on the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 to the Ministry of Youth Development twice this year without any response.
- That, the first letter was written to the Ministry on 11th February, 2014 and the second letter on 14th March, 2014.
- The letters amongst other specific sought the following information –
· The Ministry’s Budget for 2011, 2012, 2013;
· Location of ALL youth centres across Nigeria established or being constructed by the ministry;
· The Ministry's budget performance report for the period 2011 to 2013.
4. That, none of the letters was replied by the Ministry despite being a Federal institution and with provisions by the FOI Act mandating that responses should be made available between seven days of receipt of correspondence.
5. That, Youthhub Africa is taken aback by the attitude of a Ministry that should be at the fore of proactively making information available for the demography it serves even before making such demands.
6. That, the organisation has since written the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and the National Human Rights Commission on this violation of rights being perpetrated by the Ministry of Youth Development.
7. It would be recalled that the Act in Section 1, Sub Section 1 of the Act states that “notwithstanding anything contained in any other Act, law or regulation, the right of any person to access or request information, whether or not contained in any written form, which is in custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution howsoever described, is established.”
8. That, premised on the above, Youthhub Africa with support from the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) would be seeking a legal redress to this injustice as one would love to assume that when President Goodluck Jonathan signed the bill into law in 2011 it was with the intention of making governance transparent and readily accessible by all. The attitude from the Ministry of Youth Development however shows otherwise.
Head – Programs
April 7th , 2014.