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The study was carried out to determine the challenges and difficulties
encountered by the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Lagos State,
while utilising the FoIA to access information. The study was
predicated on two theories - Public Sphere, and Social Responsibility
theories. The objectives, among other things, were to investigate and
evaluate the duration odd time expended in accessing information
under the FoIA and the challenges and difficulties encountered, while
utilizing the FoIA. Interview schedule was used to elicit information
from the three CSOs – SERAP, CLO, MRA purposively selected.
Analysis revealed that the CSOs in Lagos state encountered
challenges and difficulties in the areas of procedure, release of
information, and the effect of the Official Secret Act 1962, amongst
others. The study also found out, that majority of the information
accessed under the FoIA by the CSOs in Lagos state were accessed
outside the seven (7) days’ timeframe stipulated by the FoIA in
Section 4. Based on the forgoing, it was recommended, amongst
others, that the difficulties and challenges identified by this study
should be, urgently, presented or tabled before the appropriate
quarters – Attorney general, who the law imbued with the supervisory
function over the implementation of the FoIA; and to the National
Assembly for amendment.
Keywords: Civil Society Organisations, Challenges, Freedom of
Information Act, Implementation