The Federal Government said on Wednesday that it has paid about N375.8 million to twenty whistle-blowers, who provided information that led to the recovery of over N11.6 billion. The Ministry of Finance confirmed this in a statement and said the recipients were the first to be paid under the Whistle-blower Policy.
“This payment is the first under the Whistleblower Policy,” the Minister for Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said in the statement.
“The payment underscores the commitment of the President Muhmmadu Buhari-led administration to meet its obligations to information providers under the Whistleblower Policy, which is an essential tool in the fight against corruption.”
According to the whistle-blowing policy, introduced by the Buhari’s government to enhance the war against corruption, each whistle-blower gets five per cent of the money involved in the corruption case reported after a successful recovery of the reported loot.
However, those who provide false tip-off, risk prosecution and jail.
The primary purpose of the Whistle-blower policy, was to support the fight against financial crimes and corruption, promote accountability and enhance transparency in the management of public finances, the minister said.
Interestingly, the government did not reveal the identities of the beneficiaries of the payments. And Mrs Adeosun said standard procedures had also been introduced to ensure the protection of the identities of information providers during the payment process.
All payments were taxable and were only made upon confirmation of the final recovery of related assets, after confirmation by the Attorney-General of the Federation as being free of legal disputes, the minister said.
She also disclosed the existence of Whistle-blower Unit, which she said is a multi-agency team resident in the Ministry of Finance Headquarters. It is staffed 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 and Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), among others, Mrs Adeosun said.