The Federal Government on Tuesday announced a new policy, which offers a five percent financial reward to any whistle-blower who can give credible information leading to the recovery of looted funds and other monies obtained through fraudulent means.
The policy which was tagged the ‘Whistle Blowing Programme,’ is aimed at encouraging anyone who has credible information about a violation, misconduct or improper activity that could impact negatively on the Nigerian people and government to report it.
The official reward that will be given to any whistle-blower will be 5percent of whatever they help recover.
The Buhari led administration believes that, giving a reward to whistle blowers will help strengthen the fight against corruption and encourage more Nigerians to identify with the government’s efforts in doing same.
The FG also believes that Nigeria would have recovered a huge part of the looted funds if a similar policy had been proposed and adopted especially in the case of the Abacha loot which runs into billions of dollars.
Speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun said if whistle blowing could lead to the voluntary return of stolen or concealed public funds or assets, the whistle-blower may be entitled to a minimum of 2.5% and a maximum of 5% everything that was recovered.
Adeosun who was joined at the briefing by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that to qualify for the reward, the whistle blower must have provided the government with information it does not already have and could not otherwise obtain from any other source available to the government.
She further explained that the government had already created a secure online portal where information could be submitted, as well as the facility to check the status of the report on the portal.
Kemi Adeosun said the categories of information that could be reported on the portal includes, cases of misappropriation or mismanagement of public funds, assets such as vehicles, Land, buildings as well as collection of bribes.
The whistle-blower policy does not however, apply to private and personal matters such as contracts and agreements.
Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, assured everyone of the confidentiality of the whistle-blower portal, stating that government employees, agencies, institutional stakeholders and members of the public were also at liberty to avail themselves of the portal.
“You can submit documentary evidence on the portal. You can also provide specific and fact-based information such as what occurred, amount involved, who was involved and dates of the occurrence on the portal.
“Confidentiality will be maintained to the fullest extent within the limitations of the law. If you choose not to disclose your identity, there will be no record of who you are. If you choose to disclose your identity, it will be fully protected.
”If you whistleblow in public-spirit and in good faith, you will be protected. If you feel that you have been treated badly because of your report, you can file a formal complaint. If you have suffered harassment, intimidation or victimisation for sharing your concerns, restitution will be made for any loss suffered.”
Guys, what do you think about this policy by the Federal Government?