The Alberta Ombudsman and Public Interest Commissioner’s offices welcomed distinguished guests from Nigeria this week.
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, is a special committee of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with powers of oversight functions and mandate to consider all petitions from Nigerians, both public and private. The Chairman of the Senate Committee, and leader of the delegation, Distinguished Senator (Dr.) Patrick Ayo Akinyelure proposed the one-week official visit to the Alberta Legislative Assembly and our offices.
“The visit is aimed at harnessing and fostering relationship and collaboration with the Alberta Ombudsman and Public Interest Commissioner’s offices in our drive to enhance human capacity development and effective services delivery,” he said. “I am grateful for this opportunity to discuss the similarities in our work.”
Chief Commissioner, Honourable Abimbola Ayo-Yusuf, a member of the delegation, brought warm regards from the Public Complaints Commission of Nigeria (Nigerian Ombudsman).
“Our office was established in 1975 under Nigerian law with wide powers to inquire into complaints by members of the public concerning the administrative action of public authorities and companies,” he explained. “Between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022, my office received 130,500 complaints. What makes our complaints unique is that they come mainly from the Nigerian work force and the downtrodden who ordinarily cannot afford the cost of the judicial system. Our services are free.”
The Commission’s objective is to promote social justice for the individual citizen. Its vision, “To restore the dignity of man through the enthronement of rule of law and the protection of the individual / organization against administrative injustice.” Like the Alberta Ombudsman, the Public Complaints Commission of Nigeria is a member of the International Ombudsman Institute.
“Meeting with colleagues nationally and internationally builds awareness of leading and best Ombuds practices,” said Acting Ombudsman and Public Interest Commissioner, Peter Sherstan. “We value the opportunity to learn about the issues our counterparts face and compare how our offices can promote fairness for individual citizens.”
Together with the Public Interest Commissioner’s office, our staff was pleased to host the delegation and deliver an overview and history of addressing complaints made to our offices. Discussions centred on early resolution strategies, investigative processes, promoting effective whistleblower legislation and public engagement strategies.
To learn more about the Nigerian Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, please visit: https://senateethicsandprivileges.org.ng/p/
To learn more about the Public Complaints Commission, the Nigerian Ombudsman, please visit: https://pcc.gov.ng/