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N4.5B NHRC budget insufficient for 2M complaints yearly- Secretary



Tony Ojukwu NHRC

Tony Ojukwu (SAN), the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), recently revealed that the commission annually receives more than two million complaints but expressed concerns about the inadequacy of its N4.5 billion budget to effectively address these issues.

Ojukwu emphasized the financial strain by stating that if each complaint were to be thoroughly investigated with a budget of N5,000, it would require no less than N10 million to handle all these complaints.

This pressing financial challenge is further compounded by the NHRC’s diverse responsibilities, which include covering state office rents, salaries, and complaint investigations from this annual budget.

He opined that the low budget allocation to the commission of an annual budget of N4.5 billion falls significantly short of meeting the commission’s essential mandates.

Furthermore, Ojukwu expressed concerns regarding the commission’s state offices, many of which are housed in rented structures, potentially exposing the NHRC to political influences and the interests of landlords.

A call for collaborative efforts

Ojukwu called for collaborative efforts to raise awareness about human rights issues and stimulate meaningful dialogues that lead to positive and effective changes in society.

He reaffirmed the NHRC’s unwavering commitment to its core mission of promoting, protecting, and enforcing human rights in the country.

Regardless of an individual’s background, beliefs, or circumstances, Ojukwu stressed that the NHRC is dedicated to ensuring that the rights of every citizen are respected and protected.

  • “The commission stands as a beacon of hope, a sanctuary for the oppressed, and a vigilant guardian against any infringement on human rights,” Ojukwu stated.

During the event, Jide Oyekunle, Chairman of the FCT Correspondent Chapel, Nigerian Union of Journalists, observed that the majority of cases of human rights violations are perpetrated by the police.

Oyekunle pointed out,

  • “The Nigeria Police have increasingly become instruments of oppression and coercion against innocent citizens, willingly serving the interests of the wealthy and powerful to intimidate and victimize the common man or perceived opponents.”

He highlighted the persistent lack of trust and confidence in the police among Nigerian citizens, despite efforts by the police authorities to create a positive image through posters and television advertisements.

Oyekunle also noted that despite political successes, Nigerians continue to experience human rights violations at the hands of security agencies, with no perpetrators being held accountable.

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