Despite all we do, we're underfunded - Public Complaints Commission staff

Despite all we do, we're underfunded - Public Complaints Commission staff

- The Public Complaints Commission (PCC) on Thursday, December 19, pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the challenges of the commission

- The PCC staff under the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PSAN) said the commission has been under-funded for years

- According to the association, the fight against corruption in Nigeria by the Federal Government cannot come to total success without contribution from the PCC

The staff of the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) on Thursday, December 19, decried the lack of adequate funding for operations within the commission.

The PCC staff under the aegis of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PSAN) said the commission is laden with a backlog of assignments which cannot be carried out due to lack of adequate funding.

Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, the zonal vice president of the association, Labi Josiah, said the commission does not have operational vehicles or basic stationeries to enable it to carry out its duty.

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Josiah said the association have at different occasions met with the leadership of the National Assembly over the issue but have always hit the rock bottom.

Despite all we do, we're underfunded - Public Complaints Commission staff

The PCC reviewed its budget upward to N7.4 billion but only about N4.2 billion was released for the year.
Source: UGC

He said: "This is the only agency that deals directly with the Nigerian peoples with actual feedback from the people."

He warned that the fight against corruption in Nigeria by the Federal Government cannot come to total success without contribution from the PCC.

Noting that the PCC is totally being left out in development process across various sectors of the Nigerian economy, Josiah said: "All these agencies (anti-graft agencies) that were created after PCC are even better funded and they are taking away some of our responsibilities."

"We all know that it is impossible for the National Human Rights Commission to function without any form of collaboration with the PCC," Josiah added.

Also, the association's chapter chairman, Margret Ibeku said the PCC as the constitutionally first-hand anti-corruption agency in Nigeria remains the only of such agency with offices in all states and almost all local government areas.

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Ibeku said in 2018, the PCC reviewed its budget upward to N7.4 billion but only about N4.2 billion was released for the year.

"Since then, staff under the umbrella of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) have been making efforts to see that the Public Complaints Commission (Nigerian Ombudsman) gets adequate funding to discharge her duties, these include our wide consultations with the principal officers of the National Assembly," Ibeku said.

She noted that unfortunately the year 2020 budget has been submitted, passed and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari without any form of improvement on the PCC's budget.

Ibeku said the commission's offices nationwide are comatose thereby leaving Nigerians seeking administrative and social justice stranded.

Further giving a breakdown of cases handled by the PCC, Ibeku said between 2015 and 2018, the commission has received a total of 209,745 cases and has resolved a total of 87,461, leaving a total number of 122,284 pending cases.

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She called for a presidential intervention in the plight facing the commission while stating that support for the PCC will provide Nigerians succour to their quest for justice.

"We wish to remind Mr President of his Manifesto in the year 2015 wherein he promised Nigerians to strengthen the Nigerian Ombudsman Institution."

"Mr. President and the Leadership of the National Assembly, as a matter of urgency, the Public Complaints Commission needs a Presidential intervention in the 2020 budget to help ordinary Nigerians get justice for free and help the fight against administrative corruption which directly breeds other forms of corruption," Ibeku said.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that members of the House of Representatives had increased the 2020 appropriation bill from N10.33 trillion to N10.59 trillion.

The increase in the budget was announced by the chairman of the committee on appropriation, Muktar Betara, on Wednesday, December 4.

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