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Mark cautions public complaints commissioners against selfish interest



David Mark

SENATE President David Mark has urged the newly-inaugurated members of the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) to be above board by putting the goals of the agency above self-interest and also be courageous, fair and just to everybody regardless of religion, tribe and gender.

Mark, who gave the charge in Abuja at the inauguration of the newly-appointed commissioners of the PCC, said: “You are ombudsman of the nation. Therefore, we will not accept laxity or casual approach to work. All petitions or complaints must be addressed promptly, fairly and justly.

“You must not allow internal rancour, unnecessary bureaucracies or wrangling to disrupt your work. This should be considered as your code of operation or commandments.”

The Senate President noted that the commission was in comatose before 2012 when the National Assembly approved the appointment of commissioners in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to strengthen democratic institutions in the country.

He, therefore, implored them to represent their respective states well by working in tandem with their respective state governors, legislators and the judiciary.

Mark said that the support, which the commission enjoyed from the National Assembly, especially the increment in budgetary allocation from about N2 billion in 2012 to about N7 billion in 2014, had led to the resolution of many complaints received from Nigerians, adding that the development had restored the confidence of the people on the ombudsman system.

He also asked the commissioners to work closely with the African and International ombudsman charters for better governance in Nigeria and convince local and foreign interest groups that the commission could meet the needs of the people.

Meanwhile, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, Mr. Uzor Azubuike and Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Mr. Ayo Akinyelure, lamented the poor budgetary allocation to the commission in the 2015 budget.

They, therefore, appealed to the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly to use their good offices to increase the amount allocated to the agency because the current amount in the budget may not be enough to pay salaries of its workers.

The PCC chief commissioner pledged on behalf of his colleagues that the commission would continue to carry out its assignments with highest sense of responsibility irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliation of complainants in the overall best interest of the nation for good governance.

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