How Nigerians can make money, be protected in new whistle blowing policy – Finance Minister

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun

The Federal Government of Nigeria has explained how its new policy on whistle blowing will work.

The policy aims to encourage Nigerians to report financial and other related crimes to relevant authorities.

The Government released a 19-point agenda of how the policy will operate, via a statement by the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday.

These include the types of information whistle blowers are expected to submit and how they can do so.

The statement also showed the reward accompanying any successful submission.

The policy was approved on Wednesday at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari inside the Council Chamber of the Aso Rock Villa.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who announced the new policy to State House correspondents, said it was being put in place “in conjunction with the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice”.

She said the policy is a stop gap initiative, until the National Assembly formally passes a law on whistle blowing.

She said the aim is to strengthen the fight against corruption by the Buhari administration.

Below is the full list of items as they relate to the new policy:

FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE WHISTLEBLOWING PROGRAMME

1 – What is the Federal Ministry of Finance Whistleblowing Programme?

It is a programme designed to encourage anyone with information about a violation, misconduct or improper activity that impacts negatively on the Nigerian people and Government to report it.

2 – Who is a Whistleblower?

Any person who voluntarily discloses information in good faith about a possible misconduct or violation that has occurred, is on-going, or is about to occur.

3 – What is the Whistleblowing Portal?

A secure online portal where the information can be submitted. If you have already submitted your information, you can also check the status of your report on the portal.

4 – What type of information can be submitted?

Some examples of information that can be submitted include:

  • Mismanagement or misappropriation of public funds and assets (e.g. properties and vehicles).
  • Financial malpractice or fraud.
  • Collecting / soliciting bribes.
  • Corruption.
  • Diversion of revenues.
  • Fraudulent and unapproved payments.
  • Splitting of contracts.
  • Procurement fraud (kickbacks and over-invoicing etc.)

5 – What type of information cannot be submitted?

The programme does not apply to personal matters concerning private contracts or agreements.

6 – How do I submit my information under the Whistleblower Programme?

You can submit your information through the online portal by e-mail or by phone.

7 – Who can make use of the Whistleblowing Portal?

  • Anybody with the required information including but not limited to:
  • Internal stakeholders e.g. Government employees;
  • Inter-Government stakeholders e.g. Government agencies;
  • Institutional stakeholders; and
  • All members of the public.

8 – Can I submit my information to the Whistleblowing Portal anonymously? 

Yes. You do not have to disclose your identity while providing information.

9 – What additional information is required from a whistleblower? 

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 occurrence on the portal.

10 – Will my identity remain confidential?

Yes. 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.

11 – Will I be protected as a whistleblower? 

Yes. 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.

12 – How will the information that I provided be used?

  • The information you provide will be reviewed and analysed to determine whether or not to open an investigation on the matter.
  • Investigations will be confidential, objective and speedy.

13 –  What if it is a criminal case?

That has been considered. It will be referred to the relevant agencies; Police, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) or Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

14 – Will there be sanctions for individuals or corporate bodies involved in diversion of public funds?

Yes.

  • Referral to anti-corruption agencies for possible prosecution.
  • Blacklisted from working with or doing business with the Government.

15 – Is the whistleblower entitled to a financial reward?

It depends. 

  • If there is a voluntary return of stolen or concealed public funds or assets on the account of the information provided, the whistleblower may be entitled to anywhere between 2.5% (Minimum) and 5.0% (Maximum) of the total amount recovered.
  • You must have provided the Government with information it does not already have and could not otherwise obtain from any other publicly available source to the Government.

16 – Is there protection from False or Malicious Claims?

Yes. A first level review will always be carried out to determine credibility and sufficiency of information received.

If you report false or misleading information, it will be referred to the enforcement agents for investigation and possible prosecution.

17 – What turnaround time should I expect once the information is acknowledged? 

 

o You receive an acknowledgement immediately you submit the information.

 

o An initial review to confirm violation or potential violation (10 working days)

 

o If an investigation is opened, the nature and complexity of the matters under investigation will dictate the time frame.

 

o You can always independently monitor the status or progress report with code generated.

18 – Can I receive status updates on the progress with the information that I have provided?

Yes. When you submit information, the portal will generate a unique reference number. To know the status of your submitted tip, simply click on “Get Feedback” and enter the reference number.

19 – What is the purpose or expected outcome of the programme?

  • Increase exposure of financial or financial related crimes;
  • Support the fight against financial crimes and corruption;
  • Improved level of public confidence in public entities;
  • Enhance transparency and accountability in the management of public funds;
  • Improve Nigeria’s Open Government Ranking and Ease of Doing Business Indicators; and
  • Recovery of public funds  that can be deployed to finance Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit.

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  • Olu from South Africa

    Some people will be shaking in their boots by now. We are getting their gradually, inch by inch. Corrupt free state here we come.

    • Emeka

      I tell you o! This is a good strategy to dealing with these professional looters. From the analysis, no one knows who the blower may be, so when these are shown the way to jail, no one to hold responsible for their predicaments.

    • ??????questo

      @olufromsouthafrica:disqus

      To whom does one report this for whistle bower’s percentage pay?

      Within 60 days of resuming office,
      with civil servants owed 6 months’ salaries in at least 22 states, President Muhamadu
      Buhari went straight to the Central Bank and carried away one billion Naira – all within 60 days of
      resuming office! Buhari then stuffed the whole one billion Naira into the pockets of his crony, Brigadier
      Buba Marwa, with a whisper and with Buhari’s forefinger firmly on his lips, signalling that secrets
      be kept secret. That first decision in office burnt up the borrowed robes of ‘integrity’ that Nigeria’s
      unthinking journalists dressed Muhamadu Buhari in.

      • Olu from South Africa

        What are you saying? Honestly I can’t comprehend. Perhaps my brain isn’t resonating at lunatic frequency. Anyway, with a faint idea of your masturbating massive I will advice you to use the newly created whistle-blower channel. 2.5 – 5% of whatever you mentioned! Honestly, recession will not know your doorstep.

        • serubawon70

          why do you take this guy serious?

          • Goxy333

            BUT PUNCH NEWSPAPER REPORTED THIS ONE BILLION NAIRA MATTER
            AND SAID THE SENATE now PLANS TO SET UP A PROBE TO LOOK INTO IT.
            WHEN WILL SENATE PROBE PANEL START SITTING TO EXPOSE THIS THING?
            THIS MATTER IS NOT LOOKING GOOD FOR THE BUHARI GOVERNMENT AT ALL.

      • zygote

        Then report it. After six months we will know who owns the prisons in Nigeria.

  • Dazmillion

    This is a good policy, but as they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Till they show us how they will treat whistle blowers in this Nigerian environment that favors corrupt criminals, I remain skeptical.

    • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

      True

  • Kevin Peter

    This policy if implemented to the letter will definitely only increase the number of prisons in Nigeria. Reason: With government as the largest employer of labour, over 70% of its employees will be culpable. The government should therefore start with its ministries and other departments where clear evidences of corruption involving staff can be seen; or how can one explain a scenario where a staff on a monthly salary of N150,000 can afford to build a house of N100m and above? Even if he saves the entire salary for the rest of the mandatory 30years of service, he can’t generate more than N60m.

    • Olu from South Africa

      Why can’t we implore government to build more prisons in case of overcrowdedness. We shouldn’t discouraged government on this laudable policy in my opinion.

      • Kevin Peter

        Yeah, that’s correct! But looking at the present situation, the existing prisons cannot accommodate the current number of prisoners where facilities are overstretched by well over 500%. The danger is that most of our educational institutions will eventually be converted to prisons (like IDPs currently occupying some schools) leading to collapse of more vital organs. To be frank with you, Nigeria will be worst fo it as current measures have not tackled corruption let alone expending more money in fighting corruption with NO guarantee of ever succeeding.

        • Olu from South Africa

          …starting from Otuoke Federal University? I’m just asking oooo.

          • Senator D

            The HillTop Mansion of the gap-toothed General will make a very good Alcatraz prison compound. The same with that owned by Abdulsalami Abubakar and OBJ… Those mansions will be very good prison yards. Don’t you think so before going to Otuoke!

          • Olu from South Africa

            I thought someone recommended some of our redundant universities. Is not me oooo.

          • Senator D

            I thought you over-sped and landed at Otuoke without recourse to truth, equity and justice!

          • John A

            The otta farmer that was before him was a saint?
            Maybe his name escape your tiny little brain..

        • serubawon70

          the fight against corruption must continue

    • Ajitun

      I concur guy

  • Olu from South Africa

    Honestly, with rate of corruption in Nigeria this one is ògun òwó (money ritual).

    • zygote

      I agree! proper OSiGO!! It will help unemployment.

  • Arinzechukwu Anigbo

    So, who will cast the first stone?

    • CeeCee1818

      Lead the way,lol!

      • Arinzechukwu Anigbo

        lol…so they actually want Nigerians to become “amebo’s”?

        • Emeka

          Yes! Let us be amebos, if that would reduce the suffering of the common man in Naija….

          • Arinzechukwu Anigbo

            We are all aware of the level of insecurity in the Country. How do you think that a Government that can not convincingly protect its citizens protect someone who might be seen as a threat by criminals? So many things will set in; blackmail, homicide; kidnapping; cultism etc. Please let the Government mobilize the agencies responsible for fishing out bad eggs (EFCC, DSS and co) and leave us alone, to manage our lives. We have enough trouble making ends meet. They should do away with this policy, please! abeg!!! “one who allows coconut to be broken on his/her head, may not be live to eat a portion of it”.

          • John A

            what have they done with the ones they know?
            the propaganda of this regime is getting too much.

    • zygote

      What stone? the internet website will crash with traffic one hour after it opens. You dont look for corruption in Nigerian, corruption looks for you. In fact, Buhari should start building prisons.

      • Senator D

        From the Immigration ports of entry to the Police down to the Military to the Government Houses to the House Assemblies to the presidency and Civil service we have enough to whistleblow on! The website indeed will crash…

      • Emeka

        This guy you are very funny! So na corruption dey look for person for Naija? Na him be say God don make am say anything can turn to money if well thought out? A lot of thieves would go to prison o!

      • John A

        I think buhari will be the first to go in

    • Papa Ogihwriodo

      MY CHILDREN,

      Una well done. God will bless all of you for fighting to save Nigeria from thieves inside our government.
      Now our government is asking us to start blowing whistle like Boy Scouts all over the country, for what?
      Is it not somebody who has eaten very well that can have energy to blow whistle? Not a hungry person.
      Rice today in bag is 28,000 Naira. I am talking of 50kg. And Naira too has fallen down to 490 to a dollar.
      No salary for six months. No jobs for our youths. No safety from kidnappers and armed robbers anywhere.
      Christmas is now looking possible with groundnuts only. No drinking water supplied. No electricity supplied.
      Where is the energy to blow whistle in all of this? What happened after all the whistle Nigerians blew before?

      • Femi Yerokun

        Now you are given an opportunity to expose those who have brought and continue to bring the hardship to Nigerians
        We cannot move forward if we remain stagnant

      • Senator D

        @Papa Ogihwriodo: WE must give the benefit of doubt to this laudable initiative. Infact despite as I hate Buhari’s poor economic policies I can’t throw-away this baby with the bath-water!

      • YUNUSA

        We must move forward and it begins from somewhere. All the problems you highlighted are the outcome of corruption which whistle blowing is out to address. Just make sure that you blow out the correct information.

  • Senator D

    Very good initiative! Bubu this is a 10-Star award to you from me!

  • Senator D

    For once Kemi Adeosun is doing something positive. More of this please. I pray God-Almighty grants President M. Buhari and his team the political will to implement this initiative to the latter… On a final note kindly please our prison service MUST be well funded to accommodate the geometric increase of number of potential prisoners in 2017!!!

    • emmanuel

      How is this a macro-economic policy to drive Nigeria’s dead and decaying economy?
      This should not be the headache of a finance minister, rather between Attorney General and Minister of information.
      Kemi is a bye stander in Nigeria economic issues and only look for issues to identify herself with so that she could be seen as working.
      Your comment suggest your level of exposure.

      • Senator D

        Is it NOT better to appear “seen as working” than not seen? Atleast we are all commenting here because of her… Bros take chair relax and drink Pepsi!

    • paul irumundomon

      They have criminals in from of them, they want to divert attention away from hunger and suffering for this bogus announcement. They are only fooling themselves. Let them try two top apc members, to show they are no longer bias, or have stopped, what 80 years old clueless bias president started.

  • emmanuel

    I don get alert!
    Dear Finace Minister, On November 19, 2014 Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi conveyed a session of River State House of Assembly at the Government House (since they were unable to have a session for upto a year; following the the intractable PDP/APC crises). The seating was attended by only APC members and did approve withdrawal of the states N19 billion reserve to fund projects. This was concluded within thirty minutes and the session adjourned.
    Thereafter, the said sum was drawn down between that Wednesday and friday and diverted (stolen) for APC Presidential campaign.
    Please note that the portion for the Campaign media and publicity was domiciled Ibim Seminitari, for which Liar Mohammed drew bad blood on why a small Girl be handed over such money to give him for his own jobs.
    The N19 billion was never used for that state.
    With these few points of mine, i hereby blew the first whistle and request that Kemi do more investigation by getting in touch with the Accountant General and Commisioner of Finace for more information.
    I will make my self available to collect my Bank Draft of N475 million, being 2.5% of N19 billion.
    Although, i am not sure if the All Promises Cancelled Political Party which not act true to type!

  • paul irumundomon

    Sorry sir, I won’t call him clueless again. Do you believe he is just 74 and no additions. Anyway, they made magu toll gate. So he is harmless and collect no more tolls ever again, in the mighty name of Allah.

  • YUNUSA

    This is a good development. It gives opportunity to well meaning Nigerians to contribute their quarters in the war against corruption which is bedeviling our country.

  • vincentumenyiora

    I can see that/where there is no provision for the person who gave/ raised the idea of need for whistle-blower for Nigeria as a way to speed and or spread the net to catch as many culprits as possible and there is yet the most or better and effective to get round this policy so as to yield more dividends from me, as a matter of fact and shall be releases only on confidential grounds and of course with a substantial reward!

    To justify this assertion I want to inform/ state that in order to bring the attention of the or persuade the Federal Government to try this measure I had to deliver by publication in the form of a book to the following: –

    1) The State House Ref. PRES/131 DATED OCTOBER 29TH 2003

    2) The State House Ref’d: SH/VP/41 DATED 2ND OCT.2007

    3) The State House Ref’d; SH/COS/ 52/127

    4) Two copies of my publication bearing ‘whistle blower’ I called it spy-ring and with a pseudo histogram to depict how the system were handed to both Gen. Y. Gowon and Dr. Bamanga Tukir; also a copy of book was handed to Gov. Peter Obi all in London in 2008 and 2009 @ The Jesus House Brent Cross , Holliday-Inn Edgeware Road North London, and at the Mile End University London, believing that they will discuss with the President at any of the NEC Meetings whilst back in Nigeria

    5) On the following days in the News papers – The Vanguard thus: –

    21st April 2010!; 7th July 2010; 4th Aug. 2010; 2nd Nov. 2010; 24th Dec. 2010.

    18th Feb. 2011; 12th March 2011 for the President’s Attention; 21st July 2011; 13th Aug. 2011; 9th Nov. 2011 Regarding heinous financial crimes in Nigeria how to meet it; 16th Nov 2011.

    30th March 2012; 17th April 2012; 18th April 2012.

    9th Jan 2013; 11th Sept. 2013.

    24th July 2014

    1st Oct. 2015 – You’ll see also solution for need for how to curb debauchery going on in Nigerian Universities and at Work place!

    Perhaps you can have a look at my correspondence to your Ministry dated 30th Nov. 2012 Ref’s F. 15021/TI/126 regarding the construction of AYA Fly-over. and also The Ministry for Tourism, Ciltue=re & National Orientation Ref. FMCT/DT/203/Vol.1/193. Tell me what you see on the notes.

    The following are publication where I expounded the need for ‘Whistle blowers’ in Nigeria to help put a backing on the anti-corruption crime! Now I din;t know when and how the policy was reached at the (NEC) Meeting but to tell that idea could have come from somebody who is familiar with my publications on the dates showing above and in particular the books I gave out to the names mentioned above where I did stress the usefulness of the ‘blowers’ and for Nigeria! By this gesture I am saying that it’ll be unfair to ignore my contributions on this matter derived from the persuasive notes I sent in for the authority to have a look at!