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INEC releases revised communication policy, pledges FoI commitment

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged total commitment to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Law and to also ensure maximum…

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged total commitment to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Law and to also ensure maximum accountability and transparency.

This is contained in a 56-page revised “Communication Policy” of the commission and formally released on Sunday by the INEC in Abuja.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in the foreword, said that for the commission to succeed in discharging its constitutional responsibilities, it is necessary for it to have an efficient and effective internal communication strategy and with its outside publics.

According to him, this necessity is underscored by the size, scope and variety of these publics, also known as, stakeholders.

He said that these stakeholders include, first and foremost, the country’s voting population which currently stands at 84, 004, 084 while other stakeholders are the mainstream and social media, civil society organisations, NYSC corps members, overseas development partners, the security services, and the political parties among others.

He also stressed the need for effective communication strategy within the over 16,000-staff strength of the commission itself.

“The revised policy contained in this document has incorporated new techniques, multiple platforms and monitoring templates for the attainment of the objectives contained in the Commission’s Strategic Plan,” Yakubu said.

The policy said that the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Chairman has responsibility for public communication on matters relating to the Chairman, his or her Office or as directed by him or her.

In the executive summary, it was stated that the maiden INEC Communication Policy (ICP) was produced in May 2013 and was designed to, among others, attain one of the five major objectives of the 2012–2016 Strategic Plan (SP).

The policy said, “INEC fully intends to comply with the provisions of the FOI Act, as this will further enhance it transparency and accountability, while also reinforcing its public image of integrity and credibility as well as strengthening public trust and confidence in the commission.

“The framework for the disclosure of information to members of the public under the FOI Act will therefore form an integral part of the Communication Policy of the commission.”