Beyond2015/Campaign2015 Position Towards the Post-2015 Declaration

We present the compliments on behalf of Beyond 2015/Campaign2015+ International a global civil society campaign comprising more than 1200 civil society organizations from more than 140 countries working to advance the adoption of a strengthened, inclusive and legitimate post 2015 framework to success the Millennium Development Goals.

We are aware that representatives of the United Nations Member States will be meeting in New York from 17-20 February 2015 to share their perspectives on how the Post-2015 declaration should be framed.

Considering this important discussion, we would like to offer some inputs that we hope could be considered in preparation for the representation of our country at the post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations. Kindly find attached a copy of  our position paper that elucidates on key recommendations towards the post-2015 declaration with regards to Nigeria.

We look forward to further engaging in the processes under way at the United Nations and stand remain at your disposal to provide any further support needed.

Understanding Essential Elements of Advocacy in Engaging the Authorities on FOI Act: Some Useful Tools for CSOs

What Advocacy is Not

Advocacy is not a noise making exercise as some people are wont to believe. Though it might be necessary to drum the beat of change into the hearing of the target authorities, this goes beyond noise making; it is speaking out. Advocacy is not blind agitation, though it involves the use of pressure to effect a change. Though implied, advocacy is not just proposing changes to the existing policies; it subsumes creating new policies where none existed before. Advocacy is not an information-education-entertainment initiative though it can inform, educate and communicate to the people the benefits of socio-economic policies that might impact on the lives of all irrespective of gender or status.


seeking with, and on behalf of, the poor, to address the underlying causes of poverty by influencing the decisions of governments, companies, groups, and individuals whose policies or actions affect the poor’ (Tear Fund 1999).

What Advocacy Is

The word ‘advocacy’ takes its roots from the Latin ‘ad vocare’ meaning to speak for someone, not only speaking for but also speaking with the people proposing or recommending something or someone for better options. It implies identifying a cause, believing in it, mobilizing and influencing others to support it so as to change the policy or programme that is negatively affecting that cause.

Kinds of Advocacy

The following are common kinds of advocacy, though the list is not exhaustive:

  • Feminist advocacy: focuses campaigning solely on women’s identity and ideology.
  • Gender advocacy: believes in equity of resources between male and female, young or old.
  • Policy advocacy: may be targeted towards the executive or the legislative arms of government, works towards changing the existing programme of actions or set of principles and policies or enacting a new one for the benefit of all especially the common man.
  • Legislative advocacy: sometimes used interchangeably with policy advocacy which may emanate from the executive arm of government, focuses on working with and using only the parliament to effect a change in policy or enact a new one.
  • Confrontational advocacy: this deals more with the strategy of achieving a change at all cost by all means without necessarily promoting dialogue.
  • Legitimate advocacy: This is advocating for a change through compliance with recognized rules, standards or traditions.
  • Egocentric advocacy: suggests pressing for a change for a selfish reason.
  • Demonstrative advocacy: This is a type of advocacy in which the advocates themselves take up the responsibility of the target of advocacy so as to show deficiency of the latter or to challenge the latter to take a cue.
  • Sectoral advocacy: while focusing on campaigning for a reform and a change in policies it targets the specific sector of the economy such as health, water, agriculture, education, land and housing etc. both in public and private sectors.
  • Economic advocacy: it focuses attention on economic issues affecting the nation such as debt cancellation, reform, due process, pro-poor budgeting, extractive industries etc.
  • Social Service advocacy: this is related to both economic advocacy and sectoral advocacy as the main focus here is campaigning for the social welfare of the people in which donors, for example, should provide funds directly to the government who will factor this into the national budget example is Direct Budget System (DBS).
  • Media advocacy deals with the strategy of achieving advocacy goal through the use of media both print and electronic.

Other kinds of advocacy are self-explanatory including self-advocacy, customer advocacy, consumer advocacy, child advocacy, cycling advocacy, trails advocacy, prison advocacy, patient advocacy and so on and so forth.

Purpose and Objectives of Advocacy

The main purpose of advocacy is to engage authorities or governments in dialogue so as to effect a change in their existing policies, practices, beliefs and ideas that are anti-people and not poor-responsive.

In addition, where there were no policies before, advocacy would aim at causing the authorities to enact new policies on emerging issues that are adversely affecting the lives of the people.

Advocacy is necessary in order to: influence the policy makers as a means of addressing roots and causes of the particular problem; contribute more effectively to reducing poverty and preventing deaths and suffering through the use of a wide range of intervention; reach a large segment of the population and broaden the scope of program impact; increase financial and material support for programmes.

Objectives of Advocacy

  • Change laws/policies,
  • Enact new legislation (e.g. pre-2011 FOIA),
  • Change the position of policymakers and or authorities,
  • Change the action of policymakers and or authorities.

Secondary Objectives

In the process of carrying out each or all of the above objectives, we could be carrying out and achieving other objectives that we might or we might not have planned for. Secondary objectives could be

  • Increasing social organization and participation,
  • Strengthening CSOs (NGOs, CBOs, FBOs)etc  alliance,
  • Increasing public awareness,
  • Increasing media awareness on an issue that is not necessarily germane to the issue on focus,
  • Increasing access to policy-makers by the poor masses
Whether as a group or as an individual, there are certain qualities an advocate should possess. These include but are not limited to:
Being passionate;Being diplomatic;Being persuasive;Being sensitive


Being tactful;

Being resilient;

Being credible;

Being dependable;Being knowledgeable;Being resourceful;Being strategic;


Being pleasant;

Having communication skills and;

Using lobbying skills


Advocacy methods might be used synonymously with tools or strategies for the purpose of this discourse. In order to make advocacy effective, it should be communicated through a variety of methods and activities. It is vital when advocating to use methods that complement each other in order to have the greatest impact on the widest selection of targets possible because if methods are not coordinated, resources can be wasted and objectives undermined. It is also important to represent the interests and views of the widest selection of people as advocacy sometimes is a game of number.


“Lobbying”, derived from the word “lobby”, is a tool used in advocacy by the pressure group that tries to influence a politician on a particular issue. Lobbying involves two or more people. It is building of alliances in order to exert pressure on decision-makers and accomplish expected results; it can sway decision-making in a favourable way for the best interest of the community; it also plays a major role for organizations striving to influence government policies towards their interests. Therefore, lobbying is considered as an action consisting of conducting interventions intended to influence directly or indirectly the development, implementation or revision processes of legislative (or executive) measures, standards and rules.

Different kinds of lobbying strategy

Lobbying a decision-making body: Initiating a bill for legislation could emanate from any arm of government or the public – The executive bill or The legislature or members of the public.

At whatever level the bill is initiated lobbying might be necessary in order to fast-track the bill into law or make the executive accede to it. Lobbying could take place within the legislature among the lawmakers themselves or within a particular committee or between one committee and the other while members of the public could also lobby the legislators in their surgeries or in the house of parliament.

This strategy calls for five different functions of the members of parliament that can be used by pressure groups:

  • Contribute to improving a bill in committee
  • Question decision-makers
  • Liaise with the executive on behalf of his constituency
  • Make suggestions
  • Assist the executives
  • Remind authorities

Direct lobbying: This is an approach built on personal communication between the lobbyists and the lobbied. Personal communication subsumes: presentation, contact, meetings, letters, informal conversation, telephone conversation and so on. It involves getting one’s position across to the decision-makers without an intermediary. The techniques used in direct lobbying are:

  • Oral presentation
  • A letter to a VIP
  • Informational meeting;
  • Approach to support committees
  • Contact with Clubs, Associations or Foundations etc.

An example of a situation in which direct lobbying could be useful is when a personal contact is made to, for example, the Chairman House Committee on Legal Matters so as to pressure her committee to enact a bill on FOIA in the state.

Indirect Lobbying: This strategy aims at achieving the same result as in direct lobbying but with the help of an intermediary but one is more efficient than the other. In the example given above, the chair of the House Committee on health is a woman, her committee is a committee that is directly involved in enacting such bills on health-related issues, and the committee was approached directly. However, an issue might be on increasing budgetary allocation to education to 26 percent, for instance. A group of two or three “unskilled” lobbyists might decide to approach a lawyer to draft such a bill on their behalf for the benefit of the community and submit it to the House of Representatives through the Speaker’s Office or the Clerk of the House. The Speaker might assign this bill to the appropriate committee to handle it and for subsequent presentations (readings).

The 3-man lobbyists do not make any move about the bill other than the job given to the lawyer. Lobbying only takes place at the instance of the lawyer who uses his professional skills to draft the bill and persuades the Speaker’s office to help submit the bill to the appropriate house committee for hearing. More indirect method is for the lobbyists to approach the family members, friends, and associates of any of the legislators requesting them to engage the latter in such (legislative) matter of interest since they are likely to listen in deference to such relations and cronies.

Lobbying community leaders (Gate keepers): Among the community leaders are the traditional rulers, the heads of the households, heads of towns’ unions, political leaders, heads of markets and trade groups, and religious leaders. The non-state actors could approach these people so as to lobby them to support a legislation that would impact on the wellbeing of the community.

To influence the community leaders on issues dealing with tradition, one should know how to develop arguments drawing from their own references since they are keepers of tradition in their own right. For instance, one needs tact and wisdom to convince the traditional leaders the need to support the legislative campaign on the harmful effect of the female genital mutilation or widowhood practices, for example, as the practices are rooted in the tradition of the people. However, it is important to prove to them that their status is not threatened.

Lobbying aimed at public opinion: The best methods of lobbying are often those that are discreet as described above. Some of the time, those methods do not succeed because of the “unskillful” manner lobbying is handled by the personalities involved or because of lack of understanding or the ulterior motive of the authorities concerned. However, when it is clear that the latter factor overbears the former, then public opinions should be resorted to in order to influence the decision-makers.

In this case, every available strategy at the disposal of the lobbyists could be used. This includes media campaign, mass protest, mass mobilization, propaganda, letter writing, petition, strike action, stakeholder lobbying etc. A combination of these methods are being used in Nigeria to garner support for and pressure the National Assembly to pass the Freedom of Information Bill.


These are situational agreements in order to defend a common interest or to oppose a common opponent. It is a forming a group of organizations or individuals committed to working in the long-term on the issue of advocacy. There are two types of collaborating:

  • Collaboration of individuals: it is made up of a large pool of volunteers with strong personal commitment; freedom to come in consensus on issues without external influences.
  • Collaboration of organizations: this type of collaboration is made up of organizations. Each organization comes with its strength, followers, resources, expertise and reputation.

Advantages of Collaboration

  • There is strength in numbers, achieving goals that single organization or individual cannot.
  • More publicity.
  • Expanded pool of resources and varied skills.
  • Expanded knowledge/support base.
  • A leadership/staff with good diplomacy and negotiating skill.

To be successful in advocacy, it is important to build alliances. This allows for uniting forces, better complementing each other’s effort and having more leverage. This requires trust relation between the advocacy group and its allies. Building alliances is carried out in five stages

Identification and choice of partners

  • Getting to know the partners through its name, mode of operation, orientations, strategies, activities and interests.
  • Sharing the objectives with the partners and taking an interest in achieving the same objectives.
  • Definition of each partner’s participation.
  • Managing and maintaining partnership once it is established6.

Media work

Media work is also a very important method of advocacy; the media work has the chance to influence the image of the government because most governments care about their image. Because the media is the maker and shaper of images, their role is then very important in making advocacy successful. There are three types of media:

  • Print media ( news paper, journals, magazine etc)
  • Electronic media ( television and radio)
  • Social media (twitters, facebook, netlog, etc)

The media can play a key role in:

  • Building awareness and changing public opinion on issues
  • Generate action from its audience
  • Put direct pressure on government by placing it in the spotlight
  • Protect and enhance reputation
  • Investigate and expose issues
  • Influence government policy, both directly and through its power to influence and mobilize opinions.

Different campaign demands different media strategy, it is therefore important to identify target audience and find the specific media that will best reach an audience or a number of different audiences and media strategy should specify about what action is needed7.


Campaigning is choosing a specific course of action on the basis of available information and resources which will be most effective in achieving identified objectives. It is an organized course of action to achieve change by convincing the target audience. When campaigning, the following principles must be put into consideration:  focus, clarity, credibility, relevance, timing and commitment.


Mobilization is a very important method of advocacy that subsumes synergizing the critical masses of the people, financial, material and technical resources for a common purpose. In simple terms, the types of resources concerned are individuals, groups, money, contribution in kind, labour, expertise and administrative support, including premises for meetings, supplies and equipment10.

It is important to mobilize the community that will benefit from the change. Among the benefit of community mobilization is that it improves program design, quality result and evaluation. Also, it increases community ownership and community, individual and group capacity to identify and satisfy their needs9.

Resource Mobilization

Resource mobilization is also playing a vital role in advocacy because without resources, advocacy could not survive. In order to maintain this effort in long term, time and energy must be invested to secure the necessary funds and resources. Types of resources and sources that could be used:

  • Personal contributions which comprises subscriptions, contributions in kind, income generating activities, from all the members of the advocacy group.
  • External contributions which comprise donation, legacies, sponsoring, collections, contributions from institutions, companies and various organizations that have been approached.

Letter writing

It is a written message packaged and sent to someone for a purpose including the conventional messages sent by post and email messages sent through the internet. A large number of letters can be a good way of demonstrating the extent of awareness and concern in the society about certain issue. Individual letter can demonstrate a depth knowledge and personal concern, while letters from eminent people can have a particularly great impact. However, letter-writing is such a flexible technique that it can be used in many different ways. Letters can be directed to the necessary authority to make a change on the issue addressed11.


Petition is a written document signed by a large number of people that asks somebody in a position of authority to do or change something. Petition is also used as an advocacy method. It has a tradition in public protest that goes back many centuries.  Some of the benefits of petition are:

  • It can provide a good focus for group and public activities.
  • It is a simple way of allowing people to express their support.
  • It can illustrate the level of public/community on an issue.
  • It is easy and cheap to organize12.

 Choosing appropriate advocacy methods

There are no simple rules for choosing the best advocacy methods. Your choice will depend on many factors:

  • The target person/group/institution;
  • The advocacy issue;
  • Your advocacy objective;
  • The evidence to support your objective;
  •  The skills and resources of your coalition; and
  • Timing – for example, external political events, when a law is still in draft form, immediately before a budgeting process, time of year, stage of advocacy process.

Factors to Consider in Community Mobilization on Advocacy Concern

Magnitude of the problem  
Political support  
Socio-cultural context  
Resources (time, money, skills of staff, and community, equipment and supplies)  
Feasibility of response  
History of  community participation  
Accessibility (geography, climate etc  
Representativeness of other areas in the country  
Remarks:Weigh your pros and cons to draw conclusions

List of Participants at the Abeokuta Capacity Enablement on SoIA Advocacy Strategy for CSOs and the Media









Pastor (Mrs.) E. Yinka Odedele


Gender Equality and the Girl Child Development Foundation 33 Irese Road, Shagari Village, Akure




Prof. A. A. Ilemobade


Upline  Resources Foundation SGB Adesida Road, Akure




Kemi Oyewole


Global Network for Community Development 1 Oyewole Street, Ajalogun, Off Ijare Road, Ikere-Ekiti



Adebisi Ademola


Save Our Land 44 Olofa Estate, Ofatedo



Bamgbose Jide


Justice Development and Peace Commission, Ibadan St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Compound, Basorun



Nike Obatayo


Adenike Obatayo Hope Foundation (ADOHF), Formality Gender Equity Network (FGEN) Suite 3 and 4 Fajuyi Hall, Ado-Ekiti




Franklin Oloniju


Life and Peace Development Organisation Akure



Gbenga Ganzallo


Women Arise for Change Initiative 26 Adebowale Street, Ojodu-Berger, Lagos



Olaniji Olutowo M Media Advocacy Partnership Ikeja, Lagos



Omolara Olusaiye


CSO Media Network 15A Harvey Road, Off Alagomeji, Yaba



Elegbede Tayo


ARL Foundation Lagos



Ayo Adebusoye


NNGO, Lagos 151 Akowonjo Road, Egbeda, Lagos



Adebesin Abiodun


JDPC 1 Bishop Emeritus Compound, Ijebu-Ode



Imam Shaikh Busairi


World Islamic Peace Foundation (WIPF) Imam Ajimofowoku House, Yemetu-Aladorin, Box 7647, Secretariat, Ibadan



Revd. Mrs. E. O. Ajayi


Bemel Community Development Initiative Plot 5, Caren Estate, Eruomu Layout, Old Ife Road, Ibadan



Agnes Tola Winjobi


CAFSO Women’s Rights Action Group Plot 5 Akingbade Street, Off New Gbagi Market, Ibadan



Rita Ilevbare


FIDA High Court Premises, Ekiti Judiciary, Ado-Ekiti



Adeniji Jesupemiwale


Added Value Initiation (AVI) 8 Omotayo Street, Off Ilare Road, Ado+Ekiti



Kemi Adesina Sajebi


Youth Network on HIV/AIDS Population and Development Ota, Ogun State



Olu Ogunrotimi


Environmental Development and Family Health Organisation Olorunsogo Street, Opposite School of Nursing, Ado-Ekiti



Kosoko Adesola


Lagos State Television Lateef Jakande Road, Agindigbi



Chika Izuora


Leadership Lagos



Wale Akintade


JONAPWD, Ondo 3 Dare Ajayi Street, Akure, Ondo



Mojisola Akinsanya


Commonwealth Women’s Organisation Nigeria 28, Ibadan Road Camp, Abeokuta



Adebayo Samuel


Royal Concept International Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State



Azeez Tajudeen


JONGO Osogbo, Osun State



Ebofin Michael


Justice Development and Peace Makers’ Centre,  Osogbo Osogbo



Dr. Daniel Tola Winjobi


Campaign 2015 plus International 5 Akingbade Street, Box 1500, Agodi-Ibadan




Aladejare Abimbola


The New Generation Girls & Women Development Initiative (NIGAW) Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State



Michael Olatubosun


Diamond Radio University of Ibadan



Dayo Bamgbose


CISCOM D Ibadan, Oyo State



Enike Vincent


Vinmot Foundation Osogbo, Osun State



Ilesanmi Adetoun F.


Garnet Youth Synergy, Osogbo Osogbo, Osun State



Hon. Adeshola Afariogun


African Foundation for Environment and Development (AFED) 29, Bolanle Awosika Street, Off Ilogbo Road, Ota, Ogun State



Segun  Olatunji


Punch Newspapers Abeokuta, Ogun State



Oguntoyinbo Tolulope


CELSUM, Osogbo Osogbo, Osun State



Tunde Hassan


HEDA Resource Centre 20 Mojidi Street, Ikeja, Lagos




Eyitayo Fabunmi


Centre for Social Reconditioning and Development (CEPSOR) Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State


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Group Three Work on Press Release



Come up with a press release either as a rebuttal to statement credited to a public official on non-applicability of FOIA in a hypothetical state of the federation or as the position of your organization on the applicability of FOIA in a hypothetical State. You may need to consider: content, style, presentation and photograph (if necessary).




Our attention has been drawn to the fact that “A” STATE is yet to implement the FOIA two years after its passage by the National Assembly and the assent to it by the president.

Our position for the applicability of the FOIA in this state has become imperative in view of the recent workshop on “Capacity Enhancement Training on FOIA for CSOs in the Southwest”. The revelation at this workshop shows the compelling need for our dear states to apply the FOIA. For us, it can no longer be business as usual.

For the purpose of education, the FOIA is the first law that empowers Nigerians with the right to access the records of public institutions (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) as well as the private sector, where they perform responsibilities of public nature. The Act which is a codification of the right to know and also a fundamental human right of every Nigerian citizen, grants all persons the legally enforceable right to access public held records. Moreover, the signing of the FOI Bill into law is an opportunity for the clearest demonstration ever of the power of civil society working together to influence public policy and initiate reform.

The whole Act borders on the issue of the right of access of anyone to public record and information. Section 2(1) of the Act categorically declares and establishes the right of any person to access or request information “which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution howsoever described”, whether such information is in a written form or otherwise.

However, after the two day workshop, which incidentally was held in this state, we strongly hold through this medium to appeal to the government of this State to, as a matter of urgency to implement this act in order to save our nascent democracy.

More so, the rationale behind our position steps from the fact emerging from the workshop that a sister state has already passed the law and another has held a stakeholders’ meeting on it. Therefore, for a state that prides itself as a pacesetter of the nation, there is the need and the time is now to have the application of the FOIA.

Among other benefits, is the need for free flow of information between the government and the governed, the public and the private institutions and the general public.

Our organization is ready to provide in areas of advocacy, to facilitate the implementation in order to contribute to the promotion of freedom of speech, human right and strengthen the rule of law in the state.

In conclusion, we want to appeal to all relevant authorities to take the bull by the horn to create an enabling environment for the applicability of the FOI Act.

Signed Organization 3.

  • Omotayo Elegbede               
  • Olamiji Olutowo                    
  • Imam Busairi                         
  • Kosoko Adesola  
  • Ilesanmi Adetoun F.              
  • Comrade Tunde Hassan        
  • Rotimi Niyi                                      
  • Kehinde Akinyemi       
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Group Work on Lobbying or Face-to-Face Meeting


As Abeolumo Human Rights Coalition, one of the NGO groups at the workshop, role play how you are going to approach the chairman House Committee on info so as to correct erroneous impression of the Attorney General and suggest the need to adapt/enact the FOAI in Eletikun state of Kogberegbe.

The group identified the problem statement first which is the fact that the FOI bill has been passed and by virtue of law should be binding on all federative units but some states are trying to exempt themselves.

The following steps have been outlined:

  1.  Write a letter to book an appointment with the Chairman House committee on information.
  2. Prepare for the advocacy meeting.

Note: while preparing for the advocacy meeting, it’s necessary to first identify why previous attempts has been abortive.

  • Identify members that would form the advocacy team. The team should include major stakeholders such as the media, vulnerable groups, NCWS and so on.
  • Identify lead speakers and delegate roles to each of them.

Introduction by 1st speaker (member of the CSO coalition and also a media correspondent of the House of Assembly, this person is also the one who used the practice of lobby to get the Chairman to fix an appointment with the group)
Paper presentation by 2nd Speaker (coordinator of the coalition group)
Conclusion by 3rd speaker (representative of the NCWS group)

  • Develop a position paper which should include quotations from the FOI Act.

Note: while presenting the paper, it should be emphasized that the federal law supersedes the state law.

Also references should be made to past achievement by the group, in other South-West state.

  • Go as a team to see the chairman, do a paper presentation and then make the Chairman House committee on Information make a commitment that would enable the group to do a follow-up and come up with fruitful outcome.
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Welcome Address at the Capacity Enhancement Workshop on Advocacy Skills for CSOs and the Media


I heartily welcome all of you to this twoday Capacity Enhancement Training on Advocacy Skills for CSOs and the Media on FOI Act Implementation in the South-West States of Nigeria.

As we are all aware, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was signed into law on the 28th of May, 2011 by President Goodluck E. Jonathan. It is the first law that empowers Nigerians with the right to access the records of public institutions (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) as well as the private sector, where they perform responsibilities of public nature. The Act which is a codification of the right to know and also a fundamental human right of every Nigerian citizen, grants all persons the legally enforceable right to access public held records. Moreover, the signing of the FOI Bill into law is an opportunity for the clearest demonstration ever of the power of civil society working together to influence public policy and initiate reform.

The preamble to the longish title of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 clearly sets out in a self-interpretative language the following as the objectives and thrust of the law as follows:

  • Making Public Records and Information freely available;
  • Provision for Public Access to Public Records and Information;
  • Protection of Serving Officers from adverse consequences of disclosing certain official information and;
  • Establishment of Procedures for the achievement of the above and related purposes.

The whole Act borders on the issue of the right of access of anyone to public record and information. Section 2(1) of the Act categorically declares and establishes the right of any person to access or request information “which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution howsoever described”, whether such information is in a written form or otherwise.

What is more to the above unprecedented right is the express provision in the Act at Section2(2) that an applicant, that is, any person seeking access to public record and information, need not demonstrate any specific interest in the information being applied for. This singular ancillary provision is most laudable having regard to the fact that before the Act, public institutions, offices and government agencies had effectively used the ground of lack of or insufficient interest as a Carte Blanche to refuse any application for information in the custody of government offices or officials.

Current Situation of the Act in Nigeria:

Since the act was signed into law, there is relatively low level of awareness of the FOIA among members of the public in Nigeria and especially in the southwest geo-political zone. The situation is worse in the northeast geopolitical zone for obvious reasons as many public servants are not aware of the Act while those that are aware do not know the import of the Act. Apart from Ekiti State, no other State in the Southwest has enacted a State level FOI Law. Many public institutions and officials are yet to fulfill their obligation under Section 13 of the FOI Act, requiring them to build the capacity of their workforce to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act. The free flow of essential public information as stipulated by the FoI Act is being hampered by the lack of official websites by some public institutions and lack of regular update of information by those who have.

Most private organizations including CSOs utilizing public funds, performing public functions or providing public services, erroneously believe that they are exempted from the ambit of the application of the FOIA.  Furthermore and worse still, some state governments also incorrectly opine that they are not bound by the provisions of the FOI Act. A bad example is that of the Attorney General for Oyo State who in April said that his State (Oyo) was not bound by the Act. Efforts were made to seek audience with him so as to educate him that the law of the federal republic takes precedence over those enacted by any state while each state is bound by the federal law.

Rationale and Objectives for the Workshop:

Apart from apathy from the CSOs, there is also skepticism among some of them about the safety and security of whistleblowers including the media. Though many CSOs are aware of the Act, many lack the skill needed as whistle-blowers to engage the public officials and the legislators on the need to implement the Act in their respective states.

The need to create public awareness of what Freedom of Information is and its connection to the daily lives of stakeholders is paramount. Media and the use of ICT bear much relevance in this regard. People need to see it being done and not to see what ought to be done. The demands to know and the knowledge of how to apply the information obtained in solving social, economic and political problems facing different people at different stages of life need to be addressed.

The overall objective of the Southwest FOIA Network is to contribute to the  promotion of freedom of speech and human rights, deepen democratic accountability and strengthen the rule of law in Nigeria. The specific objectives of the workshop, however, are to:

  • Strengthen the advocacy skills of the CSOs to lobby the law-makers in their respective states in drafting and passing acceptable state FOI laws consistent with the FOIA at the national level.
  • Provide a platform for generating discussions and relevant actions around FOIA implementation.
  • Identify with a view to partnering with relevant MDAs, the institutional bodies affected by the freedom of information law and development partners in ensuring unfettered FOIA implementation.
  • Increase the capacity and skills of CSOs and the Media to embark on relevant activities to increase the level of awareness on the FOI Act among members of the public including those at the grassroots.

I would like to use this medium to appeal to the federal government of Nigeria to, as a matter of urgency, declare a sincere state of emergency on our educational system. In view of the current impasse between ASUU and the federal government, the latter should accede to the request of the former so that our children could go back to school immediately. The federal government should desist from violating the provisions of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Act 2011 as it is evident that NUC has neglected its regulatory function by serving as an emergency contractor, constituting itself into a tenders board for the universities and colleges of education, and administering hostel development grant.

I also implore the media and CSOs to FOI the Federal Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to make available the details of the salaries and emoluments (including constituency allocations) of our federal lawmakers whose controversial jumbo pay package has been the highest in the whole world. While our legislators are living in opulence, over 70 per cent of Nigerians are suffering from poverty, about 5 million youths pass out from higher institutions without jobs while over 10 million children are out of school. Paradoxically, Nigeria is rich yet its people are poor. Poverty, hunger, starvation and preventable diseases are staring the critical masses of this country in the face as our leaders lack fiscal discipline while money that would have been used for development is being leaked into private pockets.

As CSOs and the media, we need to use FOIA to demand accountability from our public officials. We need to know how our resources are being allocated or spent; it is our right to ask and it is their responsibility to answer. We need to FOI MDAs, procurement and award of contracts; revenue allocation; environment on ecological fund; constituency allowances; infrastructural  development;  housing; agriculture; the Public Complaints Commission; MDGs Projects; Good Governance Team etc.

I wish us all successful deliberations.

Thank you for listening.

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An equitable and sustainable world where every person is safe, resilient, lives well, and enjoys their human rights; a world where political and economic systems deliver well-being for all people within the limits of our planet’s resources, human rights are realized, poverty has been eradicated and the environment is safe-guarded. There is social justice and peace, safety and security are a reality for all.



  • Accountability
  • Evidence
  • Effectiveness Participation



  • Agree one set of global goals aiming for eradication of extreme poverty by addressing its root causes.

  • Enable contextualized national targets for developed and developing countries (based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibility) to measure and track progress towards sustainable development and ensure accountability.

Human Rights

  • Ensure that the framework is wholly consistent with international human rights law and standards and demonstrates how progress towards its goals will also achieve greater fulfillment of these rights.

Poverty Eradication

  • Aim for the eradication, not simply the reduction, of extreme poverty.

  • Embed poverty eradication in all goals and targets which, in turn, must aim to ‘get to zero’ rather than pursue percentage reductions.

Environmental Sustainability

  • Address inter-generational justice by establishing mechanisms to address the rights and needs of future as well as present generations.

  • Specifically recognize global resource constraints and aim at a more equitable distribution of resources in addition to sustainable development.
  • Incorporate the precautionary principle – the burden of proof that an action or policy is not harmful to the public or the environment should fall on those taking the action.
  • Work towards outcomes which are both low-carbon and climate resilient.


  • Adopt a central framework based upon equality, equity and human rights that deliberately seek to improve the life chances of the poorest and most vulnerable with a focus on resources for the most marginalized.

  • Ensure inequality is an explicit focus of economic policies and strategies.
  • Prioritize gender equality and women and girls’ rights and empowerment.
  • Address other dominant forms of group-based inequality that result in inequitable outcomes, particularly those related to age, disability, ethnicity, caste, sexuality and the special needs of children.
  • Better measure development progress among the poorest and most marginalized.
  • Identify and address institutionalized patterns of inequality.
  • Proactively involve the poor and marginalized in decision-making.

Principles of the New Framework (in a few more words)

UNIVERSALITY: The new framework must recognise shared global challenges and include the obligations, ownership and accountability of every country to respond to the needs of ALL. Contextualised national targets are needed for different countries, reflecting different challenges and strengths, and inspired by the principle of common but differentiated responsibility.

HUMAN RIGHTS: The framework must be wholly consistent with international human rights law and standards, address injustice, and demonstrate how progress towards its goals will also allow progressive realisation of these rights. The framework must embrace a holistic, rights-based approach to development that is based on equality, equity and inclusive participation, ensures that the most marginalized can benefit from development and growth, and must empower all to be active agents of change.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: The framework must specifically recognise global resource constraints and should aim at a more equitable distribution of resources in addition to sustainable use of renewable and non- renewable natural resources. The framework must set out how it meets the rights and needs of future as well as present generations. All goals and targets must be consistent with environmental sustainability.

EQUITY: The framework must promote reductions in inequality within and between nations. Progress must be aimed at entire populations, not percentage improvements, ensuring that ALL are included and not only those most “easy to reach”. Consequently, the framework must deliver action which specifically targets those who are most marginalised and vulnerable, ensuring that they are equally included in the implementation and outcomes of the framework.

Beyond 2015 UN Working Group Contacts: Debra Jones, Save the Children, Rosa Lizarde, Global Call to Action,
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