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A Critical Assessment of the Role Public Complaints Commission (Ombudsman) in National Development (Nigeria).

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Abstract

The research work studied the role of the Public CornpIaints Commission
to National Development,
The objective of the research identified and examined the importance but
salient role being played by the commission in which many people
including the elites and the rural populace are unaware. The study also
examined how conflicts amicably resolved creates the required
environment for the peaceful conduct of public affairs.
To achieve the objective, the researcher identified research problem on
power, functions and limitation of the commission in this onerous msk of
administering social justice.
Thus, the research work tested the vaIidity or otherwise of the following
three hypotheses:
1. Public complaint is a toothless bull-dog because it lack the
use of sanctions to seek compliance.
2. Despite the limitation of sanctions by public complaints
commission, it has helped through persuasion and reasoning
to protect the legitimate interest of the aggrieved citizens,
safe a lot of persons from exploitation by officials and
institutions and, the same time increased peopIe confidence
in their government.
3. The existence of public complaints commission has
cautionarv effects on the overhearing attitude of over zealous
public officers and their tendency to miss-use the power
invested in them.
Documentary design that deals with an evaluation of the written
materials on public complaints commission was the method
employed. The sources of data collected in chapter four were
through the secondary source. The activities of the commission,
the annual reports of the decree establishing the commission. The
sample for analytical frame work was drawn from the operational
statistics on Kogi State Branch of Public Complaints Commission from January - December 1999 annual report.
From the data collected and analysed we have the following
summarized find ing s :
The commission's efforts were been frustrated because of
lack of adequate cooperation by some various administrative
agencies and the commission lack adequate power to enforce
or exert authority.
Though it lack the power of sanction. Its approaches of
persuasion, reasoning devotion and tacks, yielded result in
resolving cases amicabIy.
The commission has become the last hope for the common
man because of its cheap and free access by the people.
It is a quasi-judicial regulatory agency, it vindicate the just
when wronsly accused, because some of the comphints
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were based on simple misunderstanding of government
procedure.
5. Some informed Ministry, organisation, parastatals are being
caution in the application of the rule of law
6. Large portion of the people within the organisation are not
even aware of its activities.
a. We recommended that PCC require more power
because some cases require force or coersion, to seek
compliance
b. Vigorous publicity campaign should be embarked
upon through the media in every state of the
Federation.
c. The commission should be adequately financed
because its activities requires mobility to reach out to
complaints target.
d. Relevant staff training for investigation officers and
other staff in the commission should be encouraged to
enable them cope with the rudiments of the job.
e. Staff warfare should be given deserving attention by
placing staff on special salary.