The Public Complaints Commission know as Nigeria Ombudsman is a federal government institution established by General Yakub Gowon and saddled with the duty to protect the Nigerians against administrative injustice, corruption and abuses of power.

The establishment of the Commission followed the promulgation of the Public Complaints Commission Decree, by then Military Government to authorize the 1974 report of the Public Service Review Panel. Since Nigeria go back to democracy in 1999, Public Complaints Commission still exist and perform it’s duty’s by virtue of the public complaints commission Act, CAP. P37 LFN.

Public Complaints Commission is the only organization that protect the Nigerians against maladministration and injustice despite the fact that the commission lack powers to punish any person or organization found wanting, still perform her duties and bring sanity among the Nigerians.

It will be funny, if a big organization like Public Complaints Commission is planned to be merge or swallow by Human Rights Commission.

Ombudsman (Public Complaints Commission) is an international organization, there’s nowhere you can’t find Ombudsman in the World, Nigeria government can not remove herself from the Ombudsman World….

What federal government need to do for the Ombudsman in Nigeria is to give them power to operate independently and given power punish whoever that deserve to be punished by way of amendment to the commission Act.

One of the gravest barriers to the working of the Public Complaints Commission is it’s statutory inability to punish the offenders after investigation. The commission Act need to be amended to allow free performance of her duties without control by the legislature or executive.

It’s very funny that the Nigerian Ombudsman only investigates a case and cannot carry out justice against the offenders. The inability of the commission to enforce it’s decisions like punishing offenders after investigation is a big problem which render the commission to be more or less an advisory body than an automatic broker of administration.

Funding is another problem, despite huge responsibilities of the commission. The Commission is poorly funded, this hinders the commission investigation and resolution of complaints brought to it by citizens. This could be seen from the operation of the commission which requires serious mobility and there is enough vehicle to do this, also the working environment is not that conducive, the workers are not properly remunerated like their counterpart across the globe, there’s none or inadequate training and retraining of members of staff across board, all these were as a result of poor funding.

Publicity is another problem facing by the commission, how can an organization established in 1975, still unknown to many Nigerians citizens infact some staff got to know of the existence of the commission when they got employed by the commission upon recommendation likewise some commissioners.
Therefore it incumbent on the government to strengthen the commission to perform the statutory function to project the commission.

In Conclusion, the ombudsman plays an essential role in preventing the state from gaining absolute power without constraints, accountability or controls. For, if the public is to have confidence in its government, constraints must be imposed on the power it exercises. To be effective, a government needs legitimacy and Ombudsman, and that is why Public Complaints Commission shouldn’t be swallow by any organization or scrap by federal government without adequate amendment to the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

My opinion.

Yusuf F. Zubair Esq.

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