The Office of the Ombudsman took part in the 1st ever International Ombudsman Expo at Sheraton Hotel in Nigeria’s Capital, Abuja under the theme "Extending the Ombud Frontiers: Better Governance and Enhanced Performance".
Among other things the event involved exhibition of the work of different ombud offices in existence around the world, one-on-one interaction and sharing of experiences with ombud leaders and diverse functionaries, meetings with wide ranging organizations which service and facilitate the role of the ombud offices in different parts of the world, unparalleled insight into how these institutions execute their roles and a difference in governments and organizations across the globe, to mention but a few.
Speaking at The International Ombud Expo on the topic “Women leading Ombudsman Effectively- Lessons and Experiences’’, the Honourable Ombudsman among other things highlighted some tangible interventions that have greatly improved the efficiency of the office over the past four years of her reign. The Ombudsman said that the Office of the Ombudsman ought to be an institution that goes beyond being neatly laid out institution in the constitution or statute books, rather, the Office should be infused with life as to not only intervene but to actually be seen to intervene on real issues affecting real people.
"If there is an institution so rightly placed to restore the social contract between governments and people is our institution of the Ombudsman by investigating the injustices people report to us and holding government to account for the same’’ she said.
Additionally, she said that it is inherent in ombudsmanship that high levels of ethics and integrity are expected by the office because you cannot preach ethics to others with conviction when yourself have no ethical attributes.
“We cannot be pointing out maladministration in other offices and expect them to take us seriously if we are doing the very same thing we are condemning them on’’ she added.
For being one of the outstanding exhibitors at the 1st ever International Ombud Expo, the Office of the Ombudsman received an award. The Office exhibited all six systematic investigations it has so far conducted; the hospital ombudsman platform, the complaint handling processes the office uses to receive, investigate, provide remedies on complaints and ensure compliance of the remedies provided; and its engagement with various stakeholders to advance the work of the office among others.
The International Ombudsman Expo brought together over 500 national and specialty ombud grievance handling offices from over 100 countries in an exhibition of the roles and operations of these unique institutions in facilitating better governance and driving performance in governments and organizations across the world.Published by: Khumbo Mwalwimba