By Kemi Yesufu
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila has said that the 9th National Assembly would give adequate support to the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) to achieve its mandate.
The Speaker said being under the jurisdiction of the legislature, the National Assembly must do everything possible to make the agency work effectively and efficiently to meet the expectations of Nigerians.
Gbajabiamila who spoke during a courtesy visit by a delegation of the commission led by its Chief Commissioner Chile Egbawua said the National Assembly may have cause to look at the Act establishing the commission with a view to either expanding its mandate or making it more efficient.
”Nobody seems to know the commission, but I’m glad that you’ve been able to publicise and communicate to the public. You’re our own baby, and whatever we need to do to make you work, we should do it, even if it means amending your law.
“Your commission is very important even more than other commissions. I visited your office in Lagos, and if what I saw represents what obtains in other places, then there’s a lot of work to do.
“We should be able to boost your capacity to deliver on your mandate. You mentioned foreign collaboration, but beyond that, I think there should be also local collaboration.
“We need to look for money, of course government alone can’t do it. You need to generate money on your own, but if you’re not able to, then we need to amend your laws to make it generate revenue, because you need to think outside the box.
“You need to also contact private organisations and state governments to see if they can assist you one way or the other. We want a situation where you won’t depend on government alone.”
The Speaker also tasked the commission to come up with the state-by-state statistics of the complaints it has received so far, saying “The National Assembly, especially the House of Reps, is ready to work with you and help you achieve your mandate.”
Speaking earlier, the Chief Commissioner Egbawua said the commission has been facing a myriad of challenges including inadequate funding, image problem among others, calling on the Speaker to intervene on their behalf.
While congratulating the Speaker on his emergence, Egbawua said part of the problem the current management met on ground was the attitude of some commissioners who did not stay at their stations, but that it has been addressed.
He said the commission also faced the problem of accommodation in its various offices across the country and has received quit notices in some places, calling on the House to intervene.
”We have gross shortage of vehicles to move, and our officers need to move to either deliver letters, summons or inspect places. We have over 200 offices in local governments, and over 36 in the states,” he said.