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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Capacity Enhancement Workshop on Advocacy Skills for CSOs and the Media on FOI Act Implementation in the South West


Acronyms and Abbreviations


Acknowledging those who contributed to the success of the Capacity Enhancement Workshop for the CSOs and the Media on FoIA implementation in the South-West, Nigeria, the contributions of the organization members of the network are irreplaceable. The performance of the Zonal Executive of FOIA Network has been excellent from the conception, planning and till the implementation of the workshop.

The efforts of the grand adviser, Prof Albert Ilemobade, and the Zonal Coordinator, Dr Tola Winjobi coupled with the enormous support of his deputy, Ms Mojisola Akinsanya, the Secretary, Mr Michael Ebofin and the State Coordinators made the educative workshop a reality. Without their cooperation nothing would have achieved.

The role of UNDP Democratic Governance for Development (DGD-II) Project and its international partners – the EU, DFID, CIDA and UNDP in sponsoring the workshop is highly appreciated. Their support cannot be underestimated because we were planning for a low keyed workshop, due to non availability of funds to drive our intention before they came to our aid.


After much agitation by Nigerians, 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. Most of the states in Nigeria are yet to adopt the FoI Act in their various states due to ignorance, claiming that it is a federal law, and not binding on them. In order to unmask the veil on the Act, the CSOs had been working on modalities to be put in place on awareness creation for the populace.

A sensitization workshop was held in Akure which was attended by representatives of CSOs and Journalists in March, 2013. There have been series of meetings to strategize for a vibrant network that would be responsible for sensitizing the community and engaging the governments on FOIA. Against this backdrop in May, 2013, a network was formed at Osogbo at where the name “Southwest Freedom of Information Act Network” emerged to further step down the awareness campaign on (FOIA), and to be engaging governments and non-state actors on FOIA.

The network observed that the awareness of the FOIA has been relatively low among members of the public since it was signed into law. The CSOs in the south-west geo-political zone have been agitating for its effectiveness. Hence, the membership of the network mandated the Executive Members to take the training of its members as the first priority as many of them still needed to be informed about the import of the FOIA before they begin to engage the government.

Therefore, a Capacity Enhancement Workshop on Advocacy Skills was organized for Civil Society Organizations and Media on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) implementation in the South-West of Nigeria. The training was organized by the South-West FOIA Network, with the support of the Democratic Governance for Development (DGD-II) Project and its international partners – the EU, DFID, CIDA and UNDP. The participants were drawn from the six (6) states of the south-west, Nigeria. The motive of the workshop was to increase the awareness and participation of the CSOs and the media in the use of Freedom of Information Act and its efficacy in connection to the daily lives of stakeholders

The objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Strengthen the advocacy skills of the CSOs to engage the leadership of the three arms of government in the Southwest States in pressing them to concretely implement the provisions of the FOIA in their respective states, in line with the age- long progressive leaning of the region.
  • Provide a platform for generating discussions and relevant actions around FOIA implementation.
  • Devise strategies that the Network could deploy to engage the law-makers in the respective states in the region in drafting and passing acceptable state FOI laws consistent with the FOIA at the national level.
  • Identify with a view to partnering with relevant MDAs, the institutional bodies affected by the FOIA 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 FOIA among members of the public including those at the grassroots.

2.01: Workshop Implementation

The Process:

The executive having brainstormed on the steps to be taken in the actualization of the workshop, embarked on resource mobilization by forming synergy with stakeholders that would be of assistance. Fortunately, UNDP/DGDII agreed to support the workshop financially. The executive members with the cooperation of its members were able to pick the location for the training due to the aim and objectives of the network. The state coordinators succeeded in mobilizing their member organisations. A proposal, including the workshop agenda was forwarded to the donor agency for ratification. The topics and the names of the resource persons were adjusted to meet the purpose of the training. Invitation letters were sent to the resource persons, including the invited guests and the participants.

The Deputy Zonal Coordinator, with the assistance of a network member distributed the invitation letters for the guests and the resource persons within Abeokuta township. The workshop covered a period of four days including the days of arrival to departure. The participants arrived on the 10th September, 2013. The same evening, the executive and some selected members serving in the committee had a pre-workshop planning in the training venue to set the stage.


The training commenced on Wednesday 11th September 2013 with the technical session due to the lateness of the invited guests, facilitated by Gbenga Ganzallo and Sola Afariogun at the Conference Hall of Richton Hotel, Ibara Housing Estate, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The opening prayer was led by Evangelist (Mrs) Nike Obatayo after which the participants introduced themselves accordingly. The zonal coordinator, Dr Tola Winjobi, announced the names of the participants who were to serve in various committees. They were in charge of Logistics/food, Housekeeping, Rapporteur, Communiqué, ICT and Media. Immediately after Mrs Sally Musa, the UNDP representative gave necessary house keeping rule and information as regards the success of the training.

Ground Rules/Expectations

Mr Ebofin Michael anchored the setting of ground rules, expectations and fears of the participants at the training, whilethe time table was adjusted in compliance with the participants.


The first paper was delivered by Mr Remi Omowon, the Director National Orientation Agency. In order to safe time, the zonal adviser, Prof Albert Ilemobade, the zonal coordinator, Dr Tola Winjobi, the UNDP representative, Mrs Sally Musa, Ekiti state coordinator, Evang (Mrs) Obatayo were called to the high table to accompany the guest speaker, Mr. Omowon, The title of the paper Understanding the Role of Public Officials and CSOs in the Successful Implementation of the FOIA in Nigeria, and was moderated by Dr Tola Winjobi. Mr Omowon began by identifying the following benefits of FOIA to include:

  • Provide Citizens access to record and information.

  • Protection of Privacy.
  • Reduce corruption in public places.
  • Freedom from hunger and consequently bequeathed to people healthy society.
  • Promote respect for Human rights.
  • It will entrenched an inform citizen capable of participate actively in government
  • Entrench accountable and responsive governance at the Grassroots.
  • Crucial for effective democracy.

The presenter declared that the Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies are expected to pro-actively declare information concerning their MDAs to the people concerning their functions, mode of operation, structure together with their budget and expenditure.

Furthermore, before he identified the roles of CSOs and Media. He stated that all actors should be ready to make the Act work. He said according to the Act, the Attorney Generals are expected to encourage government and institutions to comply with FOIA while, the head of institutions requested to constitute Committee on FOIA and appoint a Desk officer who is expected to handle request from requesters.

The followings were listed as the roles of Public Officials;

  • They are expected to treat all requests with politeness.

  • Treat all request equally.
  • They should help put their request into proper shape and if the information sought for is not available in their office, they are expected to inform the requesters where the information could be found.
  • If the request is not granted, they should give written response as to why the request is denied.
  • They give the requesters, the receipt and reference number for the request.
  • They should inform the requesters, the procedure the request will follow.
  • Progress report is expected to be given to the requesters.

On the roles of CSOs, Mr Omowon identified the following:

  • To carry out advocacy to relevant stakeholders to promote implementation of FOIA.

  • Generate awareness through posters, stickers, publications, campaign, drama, and others.
  • Building the Capacity on FOIA.
  • Using the provisions in the Act to promote public service delivery.

He however, submitted that to do these CSOs had to carry out social auditing.

Finally the speaker submitted that CSOs should see government as partner in progress. Immediately after, this presentation, the moderator, Dr Tola Winjobi appreciated the presenter for delving into vital issues relating to Freedom of Information Act in Nigeria, after which the high table was dissolved for the opening ceremony.


The official opening ceremony commenced with the introduction of the invited guests to the high table by Mr Sola Adenekan. Those invited to the high table were:

  • Ogun State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Mrs Abimbola Akeredolu, represented by Barr Olusegun Iyanda,
  • Engr (Rev) Tunde Awolana, General Manager OGBC
  • Mr Sola Babalola, Ogun State Director of NOA,
  • Mr Wale Idowu, Deputy Director, NOA, Ogun State,
  • Mr Wole Sokunbi, Ogun State NUJ Chairman, represented by Mr Soji Amosun, Secretary, NUJ Ogun State
  • Mrs Folake Adeniyi, Chairperson NAWOJ, Ogun State
  • Mrs Sally Musa, UNDP representative
  • The South-West FOIA Zonal Coordinator, Dr Tola Winjobi
  • Grand adviser, Prof. Albert Ilemobade,
  • Evang (Mrs) Nike Obatayo, Ekiti State FOIA Coordinator


Welcoming the invited guests and the participants, Dr Tola Winjobi, South West zonal Coordinator, said the objectives of the capacity building were: to sharpen the advocacy skills of the CSOs and media practitioners, to build the capacity of the participants on how to engage government constructively, to provide a platform for CSOs and Media and also to contribute positively towards promotion of freedom of speech and access to information. Dr Winjobi challenged the National Assembly members to declare their salary and allowance publicly in the spirit of FOIA. He further appealed to federal government to honour their agreement with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who are currently on strike in the interest of the students.

Finally, the Zonal Coordinator declared the workshop open.


In his speech, Prof Albert Ilemobade welcomed the invited guests and the participants to the capacity enhancement programme. He identified the training as one of the roadmaps of the sensitization workshop on FOIA held in March 2013 at Akure. He commended the participants .


The Ogun State Attorney General, Mrs Abimbola Akeredolu was ably represented by Barr Olusegun Lanre Iyanda, Director Legislative drafting. His statement is recorded as part of the goodwill messages below:


For his good will message, the representative of Attorney General, MrsAbimbola Akeredolu, Barr Olusegun Lanre Iyanda, Director Legislative drafting went memory lane as regard the enactment of the law and identified advantages of the law. This includes; Guaranteed right to Information, it creates jobs opportunity for people, information for research become accessible and creates informed citizens that can participate actively in governance.

The law, according to representative of AG, is applicable to public and private institutions that make use of public funds. The law promotes pro-active disclosure of information, protect the whistle blowers, and it is expected the Federal and State Attorney Generals should oversee the effective implementation of the law and report to the House of Assembly annually.

Finally, he submitted, that though the FOIA has not been adopted or enacted in Ogun state, it is already in operation in the State since it a federal law.

In his goodwill message, the General Manager OGTV, Engr. (Rev) Tunde Awolana said that ideas that would move this country forward always emanated from Southwest and implored the people to sustain the legacy. To the participants and Media, he appealed to them, to obtain right information and disseminate it rightly.

The National Orientation Agency (NOA), Ogun State, in their Goodwill message by the Mr Sola Babalola represented by his deputy said that the mandate of the CSOs and the Agency are similar. Therefore, they are partner in progress. He stated that FOIA was enacted to tackle corruption and implored CSOs to go out and tackle the cankerworm (corruption) in the interest of all.

For the representative of the Chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Mr Wole Sokunbi represented by the Union Secretary, Mr Soji Amosun rhetorically declared that the workability of

FOIA depends on the sincerity of the leaders in the country saying “they are not prepared to make the law effective”. Therefore, he called for capacity building and sensitisation talks for the leaders. The representative of NAWOJ, Mrs Fola Adeniji promised the commitment of women journalists to the promotion of FOIA. Barr Olusegun Lanre Iyanda in responding to a question stated that FoI as an Act is a law and part of the constitution, so it can be cited in the law court. During his response to a question, Mr Soji Amosun stated the negative attitude of our political office holders towards the constitution, as he cited the statement of a former speaker who asked if anything has changed in the system after the enactment of FOI in Nigeria?



During his participatory slide presentation titled: STRATEGIES FOR MOBILIZING COMMUNITIES BY CSOS IN MAKING FOI REQUESTS, Prof. Albert Ilemobade asked participants to define the term “Community”. A few participants came up with different definitions of community, while Prof defined “Community” as the group of people living together and bound together by common interest.Community Mobilisation was defined as an attempt to bring both human and non human resources together. On reasons for community mobilisation, Prof Ilemobade identified the followings:

  • For creating demand for interventions.
  • Increasing access to services.
  • To scale up interventions.
  • Increasing effectiveness and efficiency of the interventions.
  • Contributing additional resources to the response.
  • Reaching out to the most vulnerable.
  • Addressing the underlying causes of problems.
  • Increase community ownership and sustainability.

Benefits of Community mobilisation, according to Prof Ilemobade are:

  • Increase community, individual and group capacity to identify and satisfy their needs.

  • Improve programme design.
  • Improve programme quality.
  • Improve programme result.
  • Improve programme evaluation.
  • Cost effective way to achieve sustainable result.
  • Increase community ownership of the programme.

The various steps involved in community mobilisation are:

  • Step One: Define the problem.
  • Step Two: Establish a community mobilisation groups.
  • Step three: Design strategies, set objectives and select target groups.
  • Step four: Develop an action plan and timeline.
  • Step Five: Build Capacity.
  • Step Six: Identify Partner.
  • Step Seven: Implement the plan activities.
  • Step Eight: Monitor, Evaluate and improve.

The Professor Ilemobade also identified the relevant stakeholders in communities to include:

  • Economically deprived groups (poor).
  • Women.
  • Tribal/Ethnic people.
  • Disabled people.
  • Minority groups and others.

To round up his session, the resource person gave the reasons why there is a need for community mobilisation for FOIA in the country.


The session was facilitated by Mr Ebofin Michael who divided the participants into four groups. Groups one and three were asked to brainstorm on the first question: “Practical Application of Freedom of Information Act for CSOs/Media: The Right to Ask”. Groups two and four were asked to handle the second question: “Tackling the Challenges of Freedom of Information Act in Nigeria”


The third slide presentation titled “Traditional and Social Media as Watchdogs for FoIA Implementation” was delivered by Mr. Jide Bamgbose from Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Ibadan. He stated that the objective of the presentation was to equip CSOs and the media with various strategies available for effective use in the social and traditional media to promote implementation of Freedom of Information Act in South West, Nigeria. He identified the following outcomes of the presentation:

  • Knowledge: Participants are able to analyse the prevailing political environment and use appropriate media strategies to mobilise and sensitize grassroots to advocate for the adoption of FOIA or enactment of their FOI in their various States.

  • Attitude: Participants acknowledge and appreciate their vanguard role in championing the establishment of open, transparent and accountable government through the FOIA.
  • Skill: Participants are empowered with necessary skills to facilitate constructive engagement with power structure on FOIA in South West Nigeria

In course of his presentation, Mr Bamgbose defined the concepts of the participatory session as follows:

  • Media refer to communication channels through which news, entertainment, education, data or proportional messages are disseminated.
  • Mass media can be described as a medium by which information and news are given to a large number of people.
  • Traditional Media is often referred to as “old media”. This sort of media includes magazines, books, newspapers, radio and television.
  • Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein defined social media as “a group of internet based applications that build on ideological and technological foundation of web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user generated content”.
  • Social Media, according to renowned researcher Boyd defined social media as a web- based services that allow individuals to…

He outlined the types of traditional media as – Radio, Television, Newspaper, Magazine and Electronic/Bill boards. He also listed the types, examples and the description in a tabular form viz:




Social Networking Facebook, MySpace, Allow users to add friends send messages
LinkedIn, Google plus, and share content. People on social
Ning, Bebo networking sites group in communities of
like mind.
Social bookmarking Digg, Delicious, Yahoo! Allow users to share their favourite online
Buzz, Stumble upon, content with one another while also
Reddit creating online bookmark.
Blog WordPress, Typepad, Online journals where the author can write
Blogger, LiveJournal, (blog) about any interest he wants. The
Tumblr blogger can also use the blog to share
content picked up from other social media
site (YouTube, Isuu) by taking advantage of
the simple embedded codes offered by
those content hosts


Questions and Yahoo questions, Allow users to ask random questions, and
Answers Facebook Q &A, anyone can answer and start conversation.
Meet ups/Events Evite, Facebook events Allows users to promote and display
foursquare where people are at that moment
Intellectual Property Creative Commons Licensing rights and permissions for other
sharing to use the photo by simply embedding the
codes in their blog.
Micro blogging Twitter Allows users to send short 140 character
message in real time to large audience.
Photo sharing Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa Allow users to upload or watch video
content or listen to music to a site for
sharing either privately or public.


There is an avalanche of opportunities that can be successfully harnessed for the realisation of the ideal of Freedom of Information Act in the South West geo- political zone.

Traditional Media:

Electronic Media (Radio and Television)

  1. News bulletin
  2. Documentary
  3. News Commentary(Radio)
  4. Interview
  5. News Tip (after or in the mid of bulletin)
  6. Special Report.
  7. VOX pop.
  8. Scroll Messages (News bar).
  9. Live or phone-in programme.
  10. Recorded Programme

Print Media (Newspaper, Magazine, Newsletters)

  1. News Report
  2. News feature
  3. Feature
  4. Opinion
  5. Editorial
  6. Letter to the Editor
  7. Advertorial

Social Media

  1. WhatsApp (creating a group for information sharing)
  2. Skype
  3. Twitter.
  4. Yahoo Messenger
  5. Facebook
  6. Blogs
  7. Blackberry Messenger
  8. On-line Newspapers


  • It enriches the quality of News items and reduce the incident of misrepresentation, misinformation and falsehood.
  • It stimulates Investigative Journalism and reduces jaundiced journalism.
  • It enhances the credibility of practitioners and creates conducive work environment.
  • It sanitizes and promotes stability in the polity by curtailing the spread of dangerous rumour that could cause instability in the system.
  • It promotes public dialogue and increase public awareness about government „s actions.
  • It enhances good governance, promotes accountability and development.
  • It facilitates public oversight of government operation particularly during preparation and implementation.


  • Media practitioners should come out from their complacency and vanguard the crusade for the adoption or enactment of FOI in Southwest geo political zone.
  • Access to Information Committee (regional) could formed to critically assess the level of compliance in the zone and possible interventions beyond this training.
  • Possible dialogue with leaders of the major political party in the zone to stimulate the adoption or enactment of FOI in the South west Nigeria.
  • Dialogue with media owners and management to secure their supports in the on-going campaign for FOIA.
  • Explore the potential of media in the sensitization of the people at the grassroots.


The fourth slide presentation titled “Understanding Essential Elements of Advocacy in Engaging the Authorities on FoI Act: Some useful Tools for CSOs” was presented by Dr Tola Winjobi who made it participatory by asking participant to define advocacy. The zonal coordinator began by stating what advocacy is not as follows:

  • Advocacy is not a noise making exercise as some people are wont to believe.

  • Advocacy is not blind agitation, though it involves the use of pressure to effect a change.
  • Advocacy is not an information-education-entertainment initiative though it can inform, educate and communicate.

He quoted Tear Fund‟s definition of advocacy as “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). Doctor traced the origin of “advocacy” to the Latin word “ad vocare” meaning to speak for someone. Advocacy is proposing or recommending something or someone for better options. He highlighted common kinds of advocacy as;

  • Feminist advocacy

  • Gender advocacy
  • Policy advocacy
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Confrontational advocacy
  • Legitimate advocacy
  • Egocentric advocacy
  • Demonstrative advocacy
  • Sectoral advocacy
  • Economic advocacy
  • Social Service advocacy
  • Media advocacy

On the purpose and objectives of Advocacy, he identified the following:

  • Engagement of 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.

  • Aim at causing the authorities to enact new policies on emerging issues that are adversely affecting the lives of the people.
  • Necessary to influence the policy makers as a means of addressing roots and causes of the particular problem.

The objectives of advocacy are:

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

He highlighted some qualities of an advocate as follows:

  • Being passionate;
  • Being diplomatic;
  • Being persuasive;
  • Being sensitive
  • Being tactful;
  • Indirect Lobbying: 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.
  • Lobbying of community leaders: (Gate keepers)
  • Lobbying aimed at public opinion

Dr Tola Winjobi identified the importance of media work as a 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/Twoo, 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.


  • 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 needs.

Resource Mobilisation

  • 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: 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.


  • It 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.

The zonal coordinator advised on the choice of appropriate advocacy methods as they depend on factors below:

  • 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.

He concluded his presentation by considering the factors in community mobilization on advocacy concern by categorizing the following;

  • Factors to consider
  • Conditions that facilitate advocacy
  • Conditions that inhibit advocacy



The activities of the second day commenced with the recast the previous day work which was facilitated by Mr Jide Bamgbose and Michael Ebofin. This was immediately followed by the reports of the four groups mentioned earlier above. (Group submission attached)


The fourth presentation titled: Methods and Strategies for Monitoring the Implementation of Freedom Information; was delivered by Barr. Maxwell Kadiri. He started by asking a rhetorical question “What can we do to ensure implementation and practical monitoring? He then went further to submit that information is power and because the leaders know the value of information, they did not want the people to have it. That is why they hold on to it. According to him, “No government anywhere is comfortable with disclosure”, that is the reason why it took eighteen years before FOIA could be passed into law in Nigeria. He stressed that having the law is one thing, getting it implemented is another. Therefore it is not yet uhuru for FOIA in Nigeria. Barrister Kadiri emphasised the need for Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies to pro-actively disclose their information to the public.

To ensure implementation at the state level, the resource person advocated for collaboration between NBA and CSOs for possible legal services in case the public officials refusal to response to request. He also stated that requester could also exploit the opportunity provided by Public complaint Commission in case of denial. Furthermore, Barrister Kadiri revealed that National Human right Commission could also giving a bidding order that could be enforced by law court.

Barr Kadiri further emphasised that there is need for CSOs to understanding the kinds of information the people want this will join them to the people as a result win their confidence. Such understanding, according to Barr.Kadiri will enable the CSOs to carry out other things such as social auditing in the community.

He commended the on-going effort of NOA to sensitise the grassroots on the FOIA , but called for linkage between FOIA and other laws such as Public Procurement Act and Fiscal Responsibility Acts that promote transparency and accountability in governance.


The fifth paper presentation titled: The imperative of the Rule of Law as a fulcrum for promoting, Assessing and Upholding the FOI Act within the Nigeria context, by Barr. Yemi Adewole. The legal practitioner started his presentation by defining the rule of law as prescribed in the four cardinal principles postulated by A.B Dicey. The principles according to him were:

  • Supremacy of the law (that is everybody is under the law, nobody is above the law)
  • Independence of the Judiciary.
  • Fair and efficient Legislation(legislation should be prospective not retrospective
  • Justice and clarity of the law.

Barr.Adewole linked the FOIA to the principles of the rule of law and further emphasised that FOIA gives people access to information and at the same time protects the public sector workers and the whistle blowers. The resource person submitted that the law had 33 salutary provisions, some of which could help to fight corruption in the land.

The legal practitioner stressed that for FOIA to function effectively it will require:

  • Public officials and political office holders must be ready to play the roles ascribed to them by the Act.
  • Government at all levels must be sincere and ready to remove the entire impediments that can hinder the effectiveness of the Acts in the country.
  • Judiciary must be ready to play effective role through the execution of their judgments.
  • The Legislators should be sincere and made a timely response whenever there is a demand for amendment.
  • There should be access to Justice; that is, Court must easily accessible and cost of litigation must be taking away from the people.
  • Finally the CSOs as a watchdog must also be ready to be watched

He rounded up his presentation by saying that though the law has not been adopted or enacted in the State but assured that the Gateway state would soon join those states that are now FOIA- compliant.


The session was facilitated by the duo of Dr Tola Winjobi and Mr Dayo Bamgbose. At this stage, the participants were broken into four groups to discuss and present a role play on the following topics:

  • Producing a position paper or a briefing note.
  • Lobbying /holding a face to face meeting.
  • Carry out a media interview
  • Organising a press conference.

(The outcome of the presentations are attached)

After the group session, the participants dissolved into plenary to access the outcomes of the groups presentations

(Group presentations attached)


The committee presented the Communiqué of the training to the participants for perusal and adoption. A few issues were addressed in the communiqué. Mr Franklyn Oloniju, the coordinator for Ondo State moved the motion for the adoption of the Communiqué, while Miss Abimbola Aladejare from Ekiti State seconded the motion.


The zonal secretary, Michael Ebofin enjoined the participants to come with suggestions on how to raise funds for the network to enable us perform better. Mr Jide Bamgbose supported the motion and requested for volunteers that could raise funds for the incurred and future expenses of the network. The house unanimously supported the contribution of a sum of One Thousand Naira (N1, 000.00) by every participant. State coordinator was able to collect the contributions from their members.

Mrs Kemi Oyewole advised the participants to always learn how to give gifts to their beneficiaries during activities in order to get their supports, while we make our messages short when necessary.


The capacity enhancement programme was rounded up with vote of thanks by Moji Akinsanya who lauded the effort of the zonal coordinator, Dr Tola Winjobi for making the training a reality despite his tight schedules. Mr Tola Adenekan was also appreciated for being there to circulate the invitation letters with herself. Dr Winjobi also appreciated the deputy zonal coordinator for her handwork towards the success of the workshop. He did not forget to praise the effort of the secretary, Mr Michael Ebofin who was always there to get the information ready whenever he was called to do so. The zonal coordinator thanked the state coordinators for performing excellently. He enjoined everyone to be ready to serve the network when called upon.

The workshop came to a close with a closing prayer led by Imam Busairi at exactly 7:42p.m on Thursday 12, September 2013.


The intent of the training is the engagement of the CSOs and media in the south-west Nigeria in using the advocacy tools for states to adopt FOIA in various houses of Assemblies. The participants shall henceforth utilize the techniques in lobbying the lawmakers to ensure the adoption and use of FOIA in their various states. Our aim is to have access to public document without hinderance.


Having organized the impactful training; the network shall carry out the activities in the work plan. The training shall be stepped down in various states to involve other CSOs and media practioners in the localities. The executive shall ensure that the tools are utilized in various states of the south-west, Nigeria.


  1. Mr. Remi Omowon, Deputy Director, National Orientation Agency, Abuja

  2. Prof. Albert Ilemobade, Grand Adviser, South-West FOIA Network
  3. Mr. Jide Bamgbose, Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Ibadan.
  4. Dr. Tola Winjobi, Southwest Zonal Coordinator FOIA Network & Convener, Campaign2015+ International.
  5. Barr. Maxwell Kadiri, OSIWA, Abuja.
  6. Barr. YemiAdewole, Director, Citizen‟s Right Department, Ministry of Justice, Ogun State.


The adult participatory appraisal methodology was simple, while the training materials were adequate. The communication facilities were in place to facilitate better understanding. The topics treated were professionally handled, as the instruments provided for the role play were understood for the practicals. Below are the topics treated:

  • Role of public officials and CSOs in the successful implementation of the theFoI Act in Nigeria,
  • Strategies for mobilising communities in making the FoI Act requests.
  • Essential elements of advocacy in engaging the authorities on the FoI Act
  • Methods and strategies for monitoring the implementation of freedom information.
  • The imperative of the rule of law as a fulcrum for promoting, assessing and upholding the FoI Act

Group Work One

  • Practical Application of Freedom of Information Act for CSOs/Media: The Right to Ask.
  • Tackling the Challenges of Freedom of Information Act in Nigeria.

Group Work Two

Role play on the following topics:

  • Producing a position paper or a briefing note.
  • Lobbying /holding a face to face meeting.
  • Carry out a media interview
  • Organising a press conference.



No Administered 35 81 % administered
No Returned 32 91% returned
Total No Participants 43


Form the presentation above, 43 persons participated in the programme. Out of the 43, 35 copies of the questionnaire were administered. The result showed that 32 participants actually returned their questionnaire which gives a 91 per cent return out of 35 adminstered. This was a good return.


S/No Description Very Satisfactory Just Fair Not Unconcerned
Satisfactory Satisfactory
1. Appropriateness of the 27 (84%) 5 (15%)
title of the workshop
2. Timeliness (relevance 22 (68.7%) 9 (28%) 1 (3%)
to the situation in the
3. Quality of delivery 18 (56%) 12 (37.5%) 2 (6%)
4. Venue/accommodation 14 (44%) 8 (25%) 9 (28%) 1 (3%)
5. Meals served 10 (31%) 16 (50%) 6 (18.7%)
6. Overall impression 19 (59%) 13 (41%)
7. Need for a step-down Yes =28 No= 2 (6%) 1 (3%)
  • Being resilient;
  • Being credible;
  • Being dependable;
  • Being knowledgeable;
  • Being resourceful;
  • Being strategic;
  • Being pleasant;
  • Having communication skills and;
  • Using lobbying skills

The resource person explained the word „Lobbying‟ arising from the word “lobby” as a tool used in advocacy by the pressure group that tries to influence a politician on a particular issue.

  • It 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 favorable way for the best interest of the community; and
  • It plays a major role for organizations striving to influence government policies towards their interests.

He also highlighted different kinds of lobbying strategy which includes direct lobbying, while he listed the techniques used in direct lobbying as:

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


Analysis and discussions

The respondents were asked to give their impression about the appropriateness of the title of the workshop. According to the results presented in table II above, 27 participants which translates to 84 per cent of all of them in deed said they were very satisfied with the title of the workshop: “Capacity enhancement on advocacy skills for CSOs and the media on FOI Act implementation in the South-west”. It can be categorically concluded that all the participants were satisfied with the title of the program going by 15 % indicating they were satisfied in addition to 84% that were very satisfied.

The participants were also asked to indicate the timeliness of the programme to the socio- political condition of the country. The majority of the respondents said the programme was timely and relevant as 68% and 28% respectively were very satisfied and satisfied. Only one person an insignificant number said the programme was “just fair” to the situation in the country. The impression of all the participants indicated that the programme was not only relevant but also timely considering the current tempo of the discussions and concerns of Nigerians on governments‟ accountability. Corruption is as topical as demanding accountability from government using FOI Act.

The output of this project was also very important thus the respondents were asked to give their impression on the delivery of the programme. This included the quality of papers delivered and the presentation itself. Nobody scored for “unconcerned” as everyone was concerned about the workshop while nobody also indicated they were “not” satisfied. According to the results presented in tabe II above, only two (6%) of the respondents felt the presentations were fair whereas great majority (94% ) of them overwhelmingly were of the view that they were satisfied with the quality of delivery and paper presentation. The result therefore showed that the project was successful going by the faculty presentation as there were break out groups where participants were able to interact and contribute meaningfully to the discussion.

On the venue and accommodation for the workshop, though only one percent of the participants said they were not satisfied, this is nothing compared with 25% and 28% who were satisfied while only 9 out of 32 of them said indicated “just fair”. This goes to show that the hotel is good for a programme like this. However, it should not go without saying that the rooms in the hotel were not enough for the participants to the extent that some participants were moved to a nearby hotel. Secondly, food couldn‟t go round in the first night which might be due to unpreparedness on the side of the hotel management in expectation of the guests/participants. These reasons might have accounted for the 28 percent of the respondents that said the meals {6 (18.7%)}, venue and accommodation {9 (28%)} was “just fair” according to table II above.

Bye and large, it was apt we ask the participants to give their general impression about the programme. All the respondents were satisfied with the programme on the whole as indicated by 19 (59%) and 13 (41%) respondents saying they were “very satisfied” and “satisfactory” respectively. This shows that the programme was worthwhile. This is also reflected in the need to have the programme stepped-down as 28 of the 32 respondents said “Yes” while only one person felt unconcerned about the question.

General Suggestions:

The participants were allowed to comments freely about the project including suggestions. The following comments were made:

  1. It is better accommodation is monetized as some participants could not get accommodation in the hotel serving as the venue and meant for the participants. Some were eventually taken to lodge in a nearby hotel. UNDP wouldn‟t have spent as much if they had monetized the accommodation for the participants.

  2. UNDP/DGDII is encouraged to further support trainings like this so as to bring the FOIA Campaign to the grassroots. Some participants suggested sensitization and training for leaders such as traditional and community leaders, NLC, TUC, Okada Riders Association, NUT, NURTW, RTEAN, FBOs, CDAs, politicians, political parties etc. They suggested that in order to go round, this FOIA training be done in the remaining 5 zones of the country for them to benefit since the outcome of the exercise could contribute to stamping out corruption.
  3. Special request is made to UNDP/DGD II to support the training of public officials especially the staff (at the Ministry of Information and office of the Attorney General/Commissioners for Justice) who have responsibilities as enshrined in the FOI Act 2011 in releasing information. Otherwise, these officials might be an impediment to the implementation of the Act not only in the State but also at the federal level.
  4. On the duration of the workshop, the participants were of the opinion that three days, let alone two days, was not enough for such important training on FOI Act. This was different from sensitization programme which might not need breaking into groups, in- depth analysis of issues, all-inclusive participation etc.


All the copies of the questionnaire used and analysed are available. Also available are CD/DVD, photographs taken, other reports etc.


  • Well equipped CSO advocating timely and efficient passage of State level FOI laws consistent with the FOIA at federal level.

  • Civil society organizations are active and successful in mobilising public for the cultivation of democratic values like “the right to know”.
  • Public knowledge and perception on FoIA increased.
  • Media are having unfettered access to public documents thus enhancing their work.


The two-day Capacity Enhancement Workshop on Advocacy Skills training became roadmaps of the sensitization workshop on FOIA held in March 2013 at Akure. The contents of the papers delivered during the sessions strengthened the participants in addressing advocacy and media challenges. These were evident in the role play on the following topics:

  • Producing a position paper or a briefing note.

  • Lobbying /holding a face to face meeting.
  • Carrying out a media interview
  • Organising a press conference.

The capacity of the participants were increased in public awareness creation use of the advocacy tool for accessing information states to adopt FoIA in various State Houses of Assembly in the zone.

Amongst lessons learnt include:

  • Participants were acquainted with the principles underlying freedom of information laws.

  • Participants were familiar advocacy skills to lobby the law-makers in their respective states in drafting and passing acceptable state FOI laws in the Southwest region.
  • They appreciated the need for synergy among stakeholders by planning for step-down trainings in their states


  • Two days were not enough for the programme.

  • More financial support needed for the successful implementation of the workshop


The participants went into open session to share their experience in their various states on FOIA and to also look critically at the proposed plan of actions of each state in the geo-political zone.


  1. Position paper on FOI Bill

-Implementation of FOIA

  1. Access to the MDAs website proactive disclosure of information
  2. Engaging/Collaboration with the MDAs & LGs
  3. Training/Capacity building for officials of the Lagos state government on FOIA


Imam Busairi, the state coordinator suggested Step-Down Training of Abeokuta experience in all the six (6) states of the region. He added that there should be a time table for the training to be taken round zone.


Mr Akintade in his suggestion said that each state should come out with a road map plan as a follow-up of the workshop, so a that we can know how effective our advocacies will be at our various states. A timeline of activities of actions should also be stated. The state coordinator, Mr Franklyn Oloniju assured the participants that the state shall be organizing a step-down training on the FOIA (including Abeokuta training) with donation from members.


The state coordinator, Mr Abiodun Adebesin suggested that the FOIA should be stepped down in our various communities, as they have to own the programme. CBOs should include FOIA in their training /meetings with their beneficiaries in the state and also collaborate with NOA in their various states.


The state coordinator, Evang (Mrs) Nike Obatayo said they shall organize capacity building/sensitization /awareness in all communities within the state.

APPENDICES (attached separately)

Appendix 1 Papers presented.

Appendix 2 Syndicate Discussion Guides

Appendix 3 Communiqué

Appendix 4 Participants Lists

Appendix 5 Photographs/Video


Southwest FOIA Network

c/o CAFSO-WRAG for Development Secretariat: Plot 5 Akingbade Street, Near IDC Primary School Off Old Ife Road, Box 15060, Agodi P.O. Ibadan



08030618326; 08060012425

D. Tola Winjobi Michael Ebofin
Southwest Coordinator Southwest Secretary


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