Whistleblowing: Govt. Has Recovered $160m & N8bn Stolen Funds So Far


 

Incase you want to know what more about Whistleblowing, how you can
report and who can be reported, and how to go about it. Find it below…



What Is the Whistleblowing Programme

The Whistleblowing Programme is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of
Finance that seeks to encourage anyone in possession of information
about any of the following, to report it for Investigation.

– Violation of government financial regulations / procurement procedures
– Mismanagement or misappropriation of public funds and assets
– Financial Malpractice / Fraud / Theft of public assets
– Information on stolen or concealed public assets
– Manipulation of data or records
– Solicitation or collection of bribes
– Undocumented expenditure
– Splitting of contracts
– Conflicts of Interest
– Diversion/underreporting/concealment/non-remittance of government revenues
– Any other form of corruption involving government funds and assets

What Are the Channels of Communication for Potential Whistleblowers

The Programme works by means of a secure online portal by which people can submit tips and reports: whistle.finance.gov.ng

There is also a telephone number through which tips/reports can be submitted: 0909 806 7946
For questions and queries about the Policy, call the above number or send an email to whistle@finance.gov.ng

What are the Requirements for Eligible Information for the Whistleblowing Programme
Information submitted must be as plentiful and as specific as possible:
containing dates of occurrence, persons involved in the matter, etc.
However, it is also possible that these may not always be available, and
in these cases it is sufficient that the Whistleblower is making a
report based largely on the reasonable belief that the information s/he
is providing is true.

What’s our Commitment to Whistleblowers
A Whistleblower can be any person or group of persons or institution
within or outside the Government, that reasonably believes that a
violation of accountability has occurred relating to government
resources — funds or physical assets. Reports must relate to the
violations outlined above, be made in good faith, not out of malice or
to settle personal grievances, and not for the purposes of personal
gain.

Whistleblowers are entitled to anonymity while providing information. If
a Whistleblower chooses to not be anonymous, he/she is entitled to the
strictest confidentiality, within the limitations of the law. This means
that their identity will be disclosed only in circumstances required by
the law.

The Policy will protect all Whistleblowers, regardless of whether or not
the matter raised is upheld against the target. The Policy also makes
provisions for redress by Whistleblowers who feel that they are
suffering adverse treatment of any sort as a result of their
whistleblowing activity.

Whistleblowers will be able to independently monitor the status or progress of tips/reports submitted.

What Happens When a Whistleblowing Report Is Submitted
The Whistleblowing Programme is managed by an Investigations Unit under
the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), within the
Federal Ministry of Finance.

When a report is submitted, the administrators of the Whistleblowing
Programme will analyse it and make a decision as to whether the
information is sufficient or credible enough to warrant the opening of
an investigation into it under the terms of the Whistleblowing
Programme. This preliminary analysis will be conducted within ten (10)
working days of the receipt of information.

Investigations may be carried out internally (by the PICA Investigations
Unit), externally (by another government body), or may require the
constitution of an independent inquiry. Investigations will be conducted
confidentially and speedily, and feedback will be provided to the
Whistleblower. Official written records will be kept of all
investigations.

What’s In It for a Genuine Whistleblower
All acts of whistleblowing that lead to the voluntary return of stolen
or diverted public funds or assets will be eligible to benefit from a
Reward Scheme. The Reward Scheme will make available between 2.5 percent
(minimum) and 5 percent (maximum) of the total amount recovered by
Government as a direct result of the information provided by the
Whistleblower. For a report to qualify for a Reward it must directly
lead to actual recovery.

What’s In It for People Who Seek to Abuse the Whistleblowing Programme
Information that is publicly available, or speculative, misleading or
untrue, or obtained in a manner that constitutes a criminal offence,
will not be eligible for the Reward Scheme.

A Whistleblower who intentionally provides information that is false or
misleading will be subject to investigation and possible prosecution by
law enforcement agencies.