The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has commended the Public Complaints Commission for its role in arbitration, especially through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
The Minister highlighted the commission’s effort in relieving so many parties from the burden of going through court processes, thereby bringing down the cost of getting justice for Nigerians.
He was speaking during a courtesy visit by the Management of the Commission on Thursday.
The minister noted that the activities of the commission are underreported and assured that they will henceforth be on the front burner so that Nigerians can benefit from their services and restore their confidence in government services.
“We all know that there’s a gradual erosion in the kind of trust and confidence that Nigerians have over the years in government and its officials, and that is why President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is saying that the renewed hope agenda is about renewing the hope of Nigerians about their country, and all of us have a role to play in that assignment.”
Mr. Idris stated that President Tinubu has always said that reorientation has to be given a central focus so that we can all have the Nigeria we all desire.
On the issue of corruption in various sectors in Nigeria, the Minister informed the meeting that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has identified the fight against corruption as one of the eight priority areas of his administration.
“The Ministry of Information and National Orientation has a symbiotic relationship with the Commission in terms of re-orienting Nigerians, especially against corruption.
The Ministry, he said, will continue to engage with the commission for the development of ideas for reaching members of the public with their mandate.
In his remark, the Chief Commissioner of the Public Complaints Commission, Mr. Abimbola Ayo-Yusuf, stated that between July 1st, 2021, and June 1st, 2023, the commission received 258,780 complaints and resolved over 170, 000 of them. These figures are aside cases initiated by the Commission to address systemic issues in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and the Private Sector.
He said what makes complaints unique is that they come mainly from the Nigerian workforce and the underprivileged, who ordinarily cannot afford the cost of Justice in the Nigerian judicial System. The commission, he said, uses the Ombudsman approach of mediation, conciliation, and arbitration, all within the spheres of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism and their services are free of charge.
To cover Nigeria adequately, the Nigerian Ombudsman has offices in every State of the Federation manned by a Federal Commissioner, but they lack adequate publicity to let the public benefit from their services, he said. The chairman noted that the commission needs the support of the ministry to achieve better publicity to stem the tide of administrative injustice and promote good governance.