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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION ON PUBLIC COMPLAINTS

1

What is a Complaint?

 

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, concern, or displeasure about a situation, service or product. Complaints can range from informal verbal remarks to formal written statements. The goal of a complaint is typically to bring attention to a problem for prompt corrective action or improvement.

2

What is the mandate of the PCO

The PCO, serves as a last resort in the treatment of complaints from staff and pensioners in the Bank, as well as from the public against the Bank. It is charged with the responsibility of processing complaints, which oftentimes involves liaising with the affected SBUs in conducting thorough investigations into the complaints, geared towards ensuring effective and efficient resolution.

3

How are complaints handled by the PCO?

 

When complaints are received by the PCO, they are registered, analysed and forwarded to the concerned Business Unit(s) for investigation/input/advice and or resolution before feedback to the complainant.

4

Who can bring complaints to the PCO?

Those who have a right to bring complaints to the PCO are the Bank’s Pensioners, the Public (against the Bank) and CBN Staff, when they have exhausted all other means of resolving complaints in the Bank, to no avail.

5

How long will it take for my complaint to be resolved?

Complaints are resolved expeditiously. However, due to the nature of some complaints, more time might be needed, especially where investigations must be carried out. Nevertheless, the staff of the office strive to ensure a timely resolution as much as possible.

7

What do I do if the PCO does not resolve my complaint to my satisfaction?

You are free to explore other complaint resolution avenues, e.g, the Multi-door Courthouse, Public Complaints Commission e.t.c

8

How can one present a complaint?

Complaints can either be in written or oral form.

  1. Oral form: by coming to the Public Complaints office in the Corporate Secretariat
  2. Written form: A written letter/memo addressed to the Secretary to the Board / Director

9

How do you receive complaints from a deaf/ dumb complainant?

The PCO will provide a sign language interpreter in the case of a deaf/dumb complainant.

10

Do I get updates from PCO with regard to the status of my complaint?

Yes. Updates and status reports are given to the complainants during and after the processing of complaints.

11

Does the PCO liaise with other Departments in handling/treating complaints?

Yes. The PCO liaises with all relevant stakeholders in handling complaints.

12

Can a Complainant be assured of confidentiality?

Yes, a Complainant is assured of utmost confidentiality whenever his/her complaint is being handled because unauthorized third parties are not allowed to have access to the complaint.

13

Is there transparency in treating complaints?

Yes, there is transparency in treating complaints. The office shall ensure that all complaints are treated objectively and professionally.

14

Where can I locate the Public Complaints Office?

The PCO is located in the Corporate Secretariat, 10th Floor, Wing C, Central Bank of Nigeria
Head Office, Abuja.

Frequently Asked Questions on Freedom of Information In The Central Bank of Nigeria

1

What is FOI?

Freedom of Information is an Act that gives one the right to access information from any Public Institution, all companies in which government has a controlling interest, and private companies utilizing public funds, providing public services, or performing public functions (Section 2(7) FoIA, 2011)

2

Who can make a request under the FOIA?

Any person, group, association or organization can request information under the Act.

3

How do I make a FoI request?

To get information under the FoIA, request must be in writing, describing the information sought for, and complying with specific institutional requirements. (e.g, name of applicant, address, phone number etc.)

4

Where do I send an FoI request in the CBN

All FOI requests are to be directed to the Secretary to the Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria at the Head Office in Abuja.
Your request will receive prompt response if it is appropriately addressed.

5

What can I ask for under the FoIA, 2011?

You can request any agency record in any format, but the agency is not required to create new records or conduct research in response to your request.

6

Are there time limits for which information requested, must be furnished?

Yes.
Unless an exemption applies the information must, if available, be furnished within 7 working days. (Section 4, FoIA 2011). And an additional 7 days if the application is for a large number of records or consultations are on-going. (Section 6 a-c) FoIA 2011.

7

Are there any sanctions for non-compliance with the FoI Act, 2011?

Yes.
If a public officer or institution conceals, alters or deliberately destroys information, the officer or institution would be liable on conviction to a fine of N500,000.00 (Five hundred thousand Naira only)
(Section 7(5), FoIA 2011)

8

Will I be charged any fee for making FoIA requests?

Yes, a fee will be charged to recover the costs of document duplication (Section 8, FoIA 2011)

9

Are all Records releasable under the FoIA?

No
The FoIA, 2011 gives a person the right to request access to information from public institutions. However, some information are exempted from disclosure and these include but are not limited to:
1. National security records which have been lawfully classified on national security grounds, and remain classified;
2. Records whose disclosure will constitute an unwarranted invasion of an individual's personal privacy;
3.  Records compiled for law enforcement purposes;
4.  Records protected from release by statutes other than FOIA.
5. Personal information;
6. Third party information;
7. Professional records;
8. Research materials;
7. Denial by Public Institutions; and
8. Exempted materials.
(Section 12,14,15,16,17,19 & 26 FoIA 2011)

10

Can an Officer of a public institution be convicted for violation of FoI Act?

Yes. It is a criminal offense punishable on conviction by the Court with a minimum of 1 year imprisonment for any officer or head of any government or public institution to willfully destroy any records kept in his custody or attempt to doctor or otherwise alter same before they are released to any person, entity or community applying for it (Section 10), FoIA 2011.

11

Does the Oath of Secrecy Act supersede the FOI Act

No.
The FoI Act supersedes any other Act pertaining to access to information.
(Section 1(1), Section (28) FOIA 2011)

12

Can legal action be instituted against a public institution for refusal to release information?

Yes.
If the information does not fall within the scope of information exempted from release, a public institution can be sued in court for refusing to release it
(Section 1(13), 20 FoIA 2011)

13

Is there a time limit for instituting legal action against a public institution that fails to disclose information

Yes.
Within 30 days after the public institution denies or is deemed to have denied the application.
(Section 20 FoIA 2011)

14

Which court has jurisdiction to handle complaints pertaining to FOI requests

The Federal High Court

15

Are there reports that indicate the number of FoI requests processed in a year?

Yes.
Every public institution is required to generate and submit a report annually to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF). This report should detail the FoI requests processed in the preceding fiscal year.
(Section 29(1)(a) FOIA 2011)

16

What is the deadline for submitting FoI reports

On or before the 1st of February annually
(Section 29(1) FOIA 2011)

17

Can I access the FoI reports of any public institution

Yes
All public institutions are required to make FoI reports publicly available. Additionally, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) must also ensure that these reports are accessible to the public both in physical and electronic forms
(Section 29(2) (3) FOIA 2011)

Facts : 1/1/1900
Agric Credit Guarantee Scheme:The Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS) was established in 1977, under the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The scheme was designed to encourage banks to increase lending to the agricultural sector by providing guarantee against inherent risks.
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