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Frequently Asked Questions on Freedom of Information (FOI) Office

FOI Office | FOI Act | Service Charter on FOI Act | FAQ on FOI Office


Freedom of Information Office
1 What is FOIA? FOIA is an Act that gives one the right to access information from Government Agencies, Parastatals, Federal Civil Service, Private and Public sectors e.t.c.
2 Who can make a request under the FOIA? Any person, group, association, organization etc can make request. It is easy to make. The request must be in writing reasonably describing the information sought for, and complying with specific institutional requirements.
3 How do I make a FOI request? To get information under the FOIA, typically one must make a request. This could either be written or oral describing the information sought for, and the format you want it in, in as much detail as possible.
4 Where do I send an FOI request? The Information Management Division of the Corporate Secretariat, Head Office, Abuja handles FOI requests. Your request will receive the quickest possible response if it is appropriately addressed.
5 Are there time limits for which information requested, must be furnished?

Unless an exemption applies the information must, if it is held, be furnished within 7 working days.

6 Are there any criminal sanctions for Non- compliance with the Act? Yes, If a staff conceal, alter or deliberately destroy information, He/She would be liable to prosecution, and a fine of N500, 000.00 (Five hundred thousand Naira only) or imprisonment.
7 Will I be charged any fee for making FOIA requests?

Yes, a fee will be charged to recover the costs of document search, duplication and, in commercial cases, review.
8 Are all Records releasable under the FOIA?
  • The FOIA gives a person the right to request access to Federal records. However, some records are exempted from release and these include but not limited to:
    1. National security records which have been lawfully classified on national security grounds, and remain classified;
    2. Records which disclosure will constitute an unwarranted invasion of an individual's personal privacy;
    3.  Records compiled for law enforcement purposes;

    4.  Records protected from release by statutes other than FOIA.


    Facts : 1/16/2006
    The Cowry:The Cowry has, for centuries, served our people as an important form of currency. In 1860 the following system was in use: 40 Cowries formed a "String"; 50 Strings made a "head" and 10 heads comprised a "bag". In Lagos in 1865 one bag of 20,000 shells was exchanged for one or two English Pounds.
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