Featured

FOI Act: NHIS courts trouble as Media Rights Agenda threatens legal action

124

 

 

 

…activities shrouded in secrecy, violates FOI with impunity

 

Amid violation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, the Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has threatened the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) with legal action.

 

MRA also said for its impunity and dismal performance in the implementation of the FOI Act, it has inducted it into its “Enhanced Freedom of Information Hall of Shame”.

 

“We will take legal action against the institution to compel it to comply with its obligations under the FOI Act,’’ MRA’s Programme Officer, Mr John Gbadamosi, said in a statement in Lagos on Monday by Mr Idowu Adewale, the Communications Officer.

 

Persecondnews recalls leant that NHIS was first inducted into the FOI Hall of Shame on November 6, 2017.

 

 

The Federal Government had set up NHIS in 1999 by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration by Act 35 to regulate health insurance and provide easy access to healthcare and universal health coverage for all Nigerians through various prepayment systems, but the NHIS had decided to flout the FOI Act.

 

It has also failed to comply with most of its duties and obligations under the Act, resulting in unwarranted secrecy over many aspects of its operations.

 

“Being an agency responsible for the provision of critical public services to citizens, the NHIS should be open and transparent by default so that those it is intended to serve will know what services it provides.

 

“And how they can access those services, the costs at which the services are provided and other such information that will enhance its operations and the delivery of its mandate to the Nigerian public.

 

“It is totally unacceptable that the NHIS, particularly given its public service delivery mandate, would deliberately disregard a law validly enacted by the National Assembly to ensure that it is transparent in its business, operations and activities and accountable to the Nigerian public which it is supposed to serve,” Gbadamosi said.

 

He accused the organization of undermining the provisions of the law for nearly a decade.

 

According to the MRA officer, the NHIS has ignored its proactive publications obligations under Section 2 of the FOI Act which requires all public institutions covered by the Act to publish and periodically update certain categories of information for the nine years that the law had been in existence.

 

In addition, Gbadamosi alleged that the NHIS had failed to comply with the provisions of Section 13 of the Act which requires it to train its staff and officials on the public’s right of access to information and records held by it and to enable them to effectively implement the Act.

 

“NHIS has breached Section 2(3)(f) of the Act which requires it to proactively publish the title and address of the appropriate officer to whom applications for information under the Act should be made by members of the public.

 

“This stipulation is also contained in the Implementation Guidelines for the FOI Act issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation to assist all public institutions in their implementation of the Act.

 

“Records available from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation show that since the FOI Act was enacted in 2011, the NHIS has not submitted any annual report on its implementation of the FOI Act to the Attorney-General of the Federation as required by Section 29 of the Act, when its ninth report is due in less than four weeks,’’ he stressed.

Leave a comment

Related Articles

Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce inagurates Atelly as 18th President, unveils programmes

Ray Atelly has been sworn in as the 18th President of the...

Kano guber poll ‘clerical error’: An Appeal Court judgment in a mire of controversy

The past few months have been characterized with legal tussles over the...

Why I did not walk out of Super Falcons before FIFA female World Cup – Waldrum

In a recent podcast interview with ‘On The Whistle’ podcast. Randy Waldrum,...

Niger’s ousted president is being denied food and electricity, says European Union

The European Union Friday said it had “deep concern” about the treatment...

Breaking: Ex-Kaduna Gov. El rufai might reject ministerial appointment 

The immediate past Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El rufai is...

President Tinubu appoints Ajuri Ngelale as special adviser media & publicity

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, has approved the appointment of Chief Ajuri...

Are ‘balloons’ the new drug epidemic in Nigeria?

They may look like the normal balloons you see at children’s birthday...

From Fame to Penury: The Despicable Tales of Nigerian Veteran Thespians

The entertainment industry, particularly the movie circle, has been in the eye...

Content creation is the new oil, says Broda Shaggi in an exclusive interview with PSN

There are not many in the class of Samuel Animashaun Perry otherwise...

Hubby’s watery sperm, erectile dysfunction crash two-month-old marriage

A husband’s watery sperm has forced his wife to urge the court...

Max Air Acquires 16 Year Old Boeing 777-200

Kano based Max Air Limited has taken delivery of its first Boeing...

From waste collection to classroom: Story of Adamu’s pursuit of education

Coming from the background of a family of seven children and parents...

Fuel Subsidy: Need for Labour to tread softly, Softly 

The Labour Movement in Nigeria is up in arms against the Federal...

Between the dialectics and the benefits of petroleum subsidy removal

By Paul Njowusi For many years, successive administrations in Nigeria had embraced...

Kudos, knocks for courts’ ruling clearing the coast for Tinubu’s May 29 inauguration – PSN exclusive

By Ajuma Edwina Ameh and Samuel Akpan …the body language of the...

Buhari inaugurates N19.6bn Customs corporate hqts in Abuja, says new Customs Act will drive efficiency

With the newly signed Customs Act and a befitting corporate headquarters for...

Africa’s largest refinery, Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals, Lekki-Lagos inaugurated

Africa’s largest refinery, Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals planted in Ibeju-Lekki area...