By Joy Odor
The International Press Centre (IPC) and Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has announced an extension of the deadline for the submission of entries for their National Freedom of Information (FOI) Essay Competition to October 31, 2021.
They also announced the expansion of the eligibility criteria to accommodate undergraduates of Mass Communication and Journalism in all tertiary institutions in Nigeria, including monotechnics, polytechnics and universities.
In a statement issued in Lagos by the Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade and his MRA counterpart, Mr. Edetaen Ojo said the extension of the deadline for the submission of entries and the expansion of the eligibility criteria were informed by the need to give more time to eligible persons who were not able to meet the earlier deadline to submit their entries and therefore allow more students to participate in a crucially important activity touching on an issue that has the potential to significantly impact the lives of all Nigerians.
They also announced that every eligible student who submits an entry for the competition would be rewarded with a set of publications by the two organizations even if their entries are not selected for the ultimate prize.
The initial call issued by the organisations on September 15, 2021 for the submission of entries for the essay competition as part of activities to commemorate the 10th year anniversary of the signing of the FOI Bill into Law by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, had limited eligibility to undergraduates of Mass Communications or Journalism in Nigerian universities.
According to the organisations, the competition is aimed at encouraging mass communication and journalism undergraduates to examine the impact of the FOI Act in enhancing participatory democracy under the topic: “Deepening Democracy, the Impact of FOI Act 10 Years After.”
The winners of the competition will be announced and honoured at a National Freedom of Information Awards ceremony, which is scheduled to take place in Abuja on this year’s International Human Rights Day, on Friday, 10 December, 2021.
The competition is organized with support from the European Union through component 4b: Support to Media of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) Project.