By Henri Uche
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) achieved first place in the FOI 2021 National Compliance and Transparency Rankings out of the 213 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) assessed.
A statement signed yesterday by Daniel Awurum, head of press and protocol for the NIPC, revealed that the ranking was proof that the NIPC was the most consistent and improved MDA, advancing 89 places in 5 years.
According to the statement, the parameters of the ranking were proactive disclosure, responsiveness in requesting information, level of disclosure, FOI training and punctuality.
The announcement was made during the unveiling ceremony in Abuja, co-hosted by six civil society organizations: The Basic Right Watch (BRW), BudgIT and International Center for Investigative Reporting, Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Public & Private Development Center (PPDC) and Right to Know (R2K), which have teamed up to ensure robust cross-agency assessment. Judges took into account the existence of a FOI office agent, publication, submission of a statutory annual compliance report to FOIA, among other criteria.
âThe NIPC has consecutively taken the second best position over the past 2 years – 2020 and 2019, a significant step up from its previous ranking of 17th in 2018 and 75th in 2017. Management efforts for better governance, Proactive compliance and transparency have resulted in significantly improved rankings over the years 2016 to 2021. It is particularly gratifying that this impressive ranking has been achieved through an internal commitment to continuous improvement without the aid of a external consultant.
âSince 2017, NIPC management and staff have worked diligently to proactively disclose all required information. The Commission updated its website with a dedicated FOI section and trained all staff. From mid-2017 to date, the Commission has proactively published information on its budgets and financial performance, companies listed under the NIPC Act, public procurement, court cases, etc. The statement said.
He added that the NIPC also proactively published information on processed pioneer status applications, which was updated quarterly and could be viewed in the FOI section of the NIPC website. “Management is delighted with the 2021 ranking and is committed to instilling a culture of compliance with all statutory obligations”, assured the NIPC.