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Nigeria Government Sets to Pay N376 Million to 20 Whistleblowers

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Federal Government confirmed Wednesday that it has released about N375.8 Million to pay 20 whistleblowers whose tip-offs has led to recovery of over N11.6 Billion.

The confirmation was made by the Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun who also informed that the payments were the first under the Whistleblower Policy launched in December 2016.

In a statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Adeosun explained that FG did not disclose the identities of the beneficiaries for security reasons. She also added that the payment was the first under the FG Whistle blower Policy.

She added:  “The payment underscores the commitment of the President Muhmmadu Buhari-led administration to meet its obligations to information providers under the Whistle blower Policy, which is an essential tool in the fight against corruption.”

The details of the Policy according to the Minister include: the introduction of a formal legal agreement between information providers and the Federal Government, which she indicated was to be executed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister for Justice.

Mrs. Adeosun reiterated that in line with the policy, each whistle blower would be entitled to a minimum of five per cent of the money involved in the corruption case reported to government.

The Minister however cautioned that the payment would be made after the successful recovery of the affected sum to the government coffers, adding that informants who provide false information risk prosecution as well as jail.

The Finance Minister also confirmed that standard procedures set to ensure the protection of the identities of whistle blowers during the payment process has been introduced.

She disclosed that all payments were taxable as well as made only upon confirmation of the final recovery of related assets, after confirmation by the AGF that the recovered money is free of legal disputes.

Adeosun pointed out that the Whistle blower Unit is a multi-agency team with its base at the Ministry of Finance Headquarters.

The unit according to her is occupied by personnel from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), State Security Services (SSS), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), among others.

Mrs. Adeosun stated: “The Whistle blower Unit is the first line of response to whistle blower information, where initial review is undertaken before cases are forwarded to the relevant investigative agencies.”

 

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