On 6 November 2023, the Honourable Federal Commissioner Public Complaints Commission, Anambra State, Hon. Lolo Emelda Nwajiofor-Okoli, led a delegation on a courtesy visit to the Honourable Commissioner for Environment, Engr. Dr Felix Odumegwu, at the Ministry of Environment, State Secretariat complex, Awka. The Hon Commissioner was accompanied by the Director of Investigation, Mr. Charles Ekwunife, and some Heads of Departments in the Commission.
Hon. Nwajiofor-Okoli engaged the Commissioner for Environment on the crucial role of the Public Complaints Commission as a watchdog for addressing administrative grievances affecting Anambrarians.
During the interaction, Hon. Emelda Okoli raised concerns about the environmental challenges in Anambra State. She highlighted issues such as erosion, flooding, waste disposal, air and noise pollution, expressing particular distress over the living conditions of residents affected by flooding in some parts of Anambra State, last year.
She further referenced cases lodged with the Commission related to pollution and letters written to the Ministry of Environment on these matters, to which the Commission awaits response. The Commissioner for Environment, Engr. Dr. Felix Odumegwu expressed gratitude for the visit and acknowledged the essential role of the Public Complaints Commission. He provided insights into the efforts of the State Government, led by His Excellency, Professor Charles Soludo, in addressing the challenges faced by Anambrarians due to natural and environmental disasters.
Acknowledging financial constraints, the Commissioner for Environment assured Hon. Okoli that the state government was working tirelessly to secure funds to fix the over 1000 erosion sites in the state. He reported success in controlling inland flooding and attributed ongoing efforts, such as the annual distribution of one million coconut seeds, to make the state economically viable and resilient against floods.
Regarding the complaints lodged with the Public Complaints Commission, Engr. Dr. Odumegwu assured that actions had been taken on all letters received and resolutions were underway. He expressed willingness to foster a good working relationship with the Commission to raise public awareness about environmental issues and government policies aimed at ensuring sustainable practices.
The meeting, which lasted for over an hour, was concluded with presentation of books by the Ombudsman to the Hon. Commissioner for Environment and a group photograph featuring Hon. Lolo Emelda Nwajiofor-Okoli and her team alongside Engr. Dr. Felix Odumegwu, symbolizing a commitment to collaborative efforts in addressing environmental concerns in Anambra State.
Source: The Public Complaints Commission (Ombudsman) of Nigeria