By Philip Clement, Abuja
The Federal Government has announced that it has recovered over N700 billion from its Whistle Blower Policy.
According to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed, the recovery was made policy through concerted effort in ensuring that there is transparency in all activities of government.
She stated this while addressing journalists at the national conference on the whistle blower policy in Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.
Ahmed said the government was able to recover the huge amount of money from the activities of whistleblowers who came forward with actionable claims of corruption.
According to her: “There were recoveries and the cleaning of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS); stoppage of non-compliance with the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and violations of the procurement Act 2007, etc”.
The Minister lamented that “at inception there was widespread enthusiasm as Nigerians volunteered numerous actionable information”.
Such information or tips, she said, were referred for further investigation by the EFCC, ICPC, NFIU or DSS.
“However, after sometime, interest in the implementation of the policy nosedived. Our attempt to reawaken public interest on the policy did not quite materialize.
“It was then we realised that there was apparent confusion in the public mind on several issues,” she said.
To address these issues, a Committee with representatives from anti-graft and security agencies chaired by a representative of the Federal Ministry of Justice was set up to draft a Whistle Blower Bill, taking into account all the complaints received from the public and the observations of the various stakeholders.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the whistle blower policy “was developed as a tool towards the exposure of corruption and corrupt actors in Government.”
Osinbajo urged developers of the new whistle blower bill to expand “the scope of wrongful acts that may be reported by whistleblowers”.