The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has called on the leadership of the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) to be more alive to their responsibilities so as to restore the confidence of Nigerians in the public service.
Saraki, who gave the charge in Abuja when the Chairman of PCC, Chief Emmanuel Ogbile, led other National Commissioners and Directors of the agency on a courtesy visit to the Senate, said the PCC should be restructured in order to be true watchdog on behalf of the people concerning the work and services of public servants.
He also urged the commission to, through their work, dispel widespread notions that public servants are no more committed to rendering services to the people than they are for selfish ends.
Saraki, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu in Abuja, said: “Truly you are really the watchdog of Nigerians to ensure that the public service delivers for Nigerians. If you are performing, then, Nigerians should be satisfied with the public service or have confidence that there is a commission they can go to be able to report what they are not satisfied with.
“In most developed countries this kind of agency plays a very key role in the lives of the people and for those in public service the fear of the Public Complaints Commission is the beginning of wisdom and people will be able to perform and deliver.
“And generally we would have seen satisfaction on both sides because one of the major concerns in our country today, is that people believe that those in public service really have no commitment or obligation to serve Nigerians.
“They believe they are there to serve themselves and if you play your role, whoever finds himself in any of the utility agencies will know that he has a responsibility to Nigerians,” he said.
The Senate President further called on the commission to submit any aspect of their Establishment Act hindering their effectiveness for review by the National Assembly.
He said: “You must have the capacity to carry out your roles. Therefore, if there are parts of the law that will also strengthen you because you must have the capacity not only to bark but to bite. If you don’t have capacity to bite no matter how much publicity or public fora you organize, people will not take you seriously.
“But if you have the capacity to both bark and bite, it will be the beginning of your delivering on your mandate. Again, some of the things we want to change in our society is this kind of issue when we talk about governance and accountability – governance and accountability starts from the approach and services of the public servants, so I am very prepared to support you,” he stated.
Earlier, the Chairman of the PCC, Chief Emmanuel Ogbile said following the charge of the Senate President during the Commission’s visit last year, the commission has commenced restructuring of the agency to make it more focused on its mandate of investigation and speedy resolution of complaints submitted to it by Nigerians.
Ogbile said: “One of such issues is that the Commission is not known. The Commission is not appreciated. The Commission is not trusted. It is not delivering to Nigerians. And recalling that you put us on the line, we have done a number of things aimed at repositioning the commission to deliver on its mandate to Nigerians.”