Prof. Itse Sagay, Chairman PACAC, said this at a two-day Roundtable on Whistle Blowing for Revenue Generating Agencies in Nigeria, organized by the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) in collaboration with PACAC. Sagay said that the whistle-blower policy was introduced by the Federal Government in 2016 to encourage Nigerians with information about violation or corruption to report through a secured online portal designed to conceal the identity of the blower. He added that the policy created a reward system for informants who led to the recovery of funds as they received between 2.5 and 5.0 per cent of the total amount recovered.
The policy has been very successful, not only in terms of assets actually recovered through information provided by whistleblowers but also by the revelation of the infinite variety of scams used by fraudulent Nigerians in swindling government and people of Nigeria. “The Ministry of Finance’s analysis of the type of infractions reported in 791 cases was most revealing with the highest being 148 cases from embezzlement of funds meant for payment personnel emoluments with 113 cases completed.
Non-remittance of pension and NHIS deductions amounted to 137 cases out of which 102 cases have been completed while financial misappropriations amounted to 86 cases out of which 76 cases had been completed. “Embezzlement of salaries of terminated personnel amounted to 62 completed cases while failure to implement projects for which funds have provided amounted to 61 ongoing cases.
Sagay said that some Nigerians abroad had suggested that the policy should be extended to foreign countries to expose Nigerians who looted funds and government should on appropriate tip-off contact the FBI in the U.S to investigate them. He said that the idea was worthwhile deserving of consideration by anti-corruption agencies and maintained that there was a need to convert the whistle-blowing policy into an Act.