chapter  5
Public access to environmental information: Nigerian law and practice in comparative perspective
Pages 35

In view of the international best practice principles on public access to environmental information critically set out in the preceding chapter, this chapter seeks comparatively to analyse the Nigerian law and practice in that regard and, where necessary, make recommendations for improvement in that light, considering some relevant non-legal realities of the country. From the Nigerian perspective, apart from a few other local instruments that will be referred to, the 2011 FOI Act will be at the heart of the (comparative) discussion in this chapter, being the flagship and detailed law for public access to (environmental) information in Nigeria. The 2013 FOI Act Implementation Guidelines1 published under the authority

of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AttorneyGeneral) (who is charged with ensuring that all public institutions comply with the FOI Act)2 to enable public institutions better to understand and fulfil their obligations under the Act, will also be referred to. Although the FOI Act is a general information legislation, Shelton and Kiss have rightly stated that ‘where national law includes a Freedom of Information Act, issues of access to environmental information . . . arise’.3 The discussion in this chapter will follow a similar progression as that in the preceding chapter.