The civil society in Nigeria would appear to be upping the ante in the utilisation of the Freedom of Information Act. In the latest of such case, the Centre for Information Technology and Development, (CITAD) has asked for information on candidates who sat for 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, (UTME) from the Joint Matriculation Examination Board, (JAMB). Specifically, it is asking for the total number of those who sat for the examination and those who passed when that number is disaggregated by centres across the states.
CITAD seeks to understand the problems students encounter with JAMB’s Computer Based Tests, (CBT), particularly in relation to the proper equipment of the centres and the state of the schools that prepare students for this type of examinations. It would be seeking to know through research whether there are students for whom the CBT was their first contact with computer and what percentage of the population of those writing the examination this might be.
CITAD expressed the hope that JAMB would oblige it within the time limit specified in the Act. JAMB, on its part has acknowledged the request with a bold stamp that says it is hitting the ground running. This is certainly not the first time it is being activated but there are no readily available statistics of constellations of the public sphere that rely on the FOI Act to extract information from public agencies and how well or otherwise the public agencies respond to requests made.