Headline National News

Buhari wants PCC to handle whistleblowing policy

President Muhammadu Buhari has described the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) as the “best-suited agency to domicile” the whistleblowing policy of the Federal Government.

The President was responding to requests by the Chief Commissioner of the PCC, Abimbola Ayo-Yusuf and members of the management team during a courtesy visit in Abuja.

President Buhari thanked the Commission for conferring on him the award of Grand Ombudsman of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, pledging to continue to do his best in “expanding the frontiers of anti-corruption, rule of law, and good governance”.

On the requests by the Commission, the President said: “I want to assure you that the Commission would be considered as the Agency where the policy will be domiciled given your widespread network of offices and the fact that your mandate on the referral of complaints with criminal contents to appropriate Law Enforcement Agencies makes your Commission the best suited Agency for domiciling whistleblowing policy of the Federal Government.”

The President also promised speedy consideration of the Commission’s application to own a radio station to facilitate the dissemination of its activities to the citizenry and to enhance its public enlightenment programmes.

On the 2023 elections and the need to protect the will of Nigerians, President Buhari urged the Commission to use their privileged position and network of numerous offices in all the States of the Federation and presence in many Local Government Areas to “protect the interest of the down-trodden”, and sensitise the citizenry on their rights and obligations.

He underscored the role of the Commission in ensuring free, fair, and credible elections and a smooth democratic transition and transfer of power in 2023.

On the honorary award presented to the Nigerian leader, Mr Ayo-Yusuf praised him for releasing all outstanding pension liabilities, from 2014 to retirees of the Federal Government, especially those of the treasury-funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), under the contributory pension scheme.

He added that the President also approved the payment of backlog of death benefits due to beneficiaries of deceased employees of MDAs.

Mr Ayo-Yusuf also highlighted the President’s approval for payment of the 13% derivation deductions for the nine oil-producing states, which has been outstanding since 1999.

The Chief Commissioner also told the President that between July 1, 2021, when he assumed office with his colleagues, and November, 2022, a total of 125,064 out of 173,500 complaints have been resolved by the Commission.

Reporting by Abdullah Bello; Editing by Hadiza Abdulrahman and Tony Okerafor