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FG pays 20 whistleblowers N376m for recovering N12bn

FG pays 20 whistleblowers N376m for recovering N12bn

Twenty whistleblowers have been paid N376 million by the Federal Government for providing information on stolen funds by some Nigerians.
The government said on Wednesday that it has so far re­leased N375.875 million to the first batch of providers of infor­mation related to stolen funds also known as whistleblowers.
The Director of Information in the Federal Ministry of Fi­nance, Mr. Salisu Na’inna Dam­batta, made this known in a state­ment, where he said the action of the whistleblowers, 20 of them, led to the recovery of N11.635 billion.
The Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who was quot­ed in the statement, said that the payment, the first under the Whistleblower Policy, under­scored the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to meeting its obligations to information pro­viders under the Whistleblow­er Policy.
The minister, who described the policy as “an essential tool in the fight against corruption,” dis­closed recent amendments to the Whistleblower Policy which in­cluded the introduction of a for­mal legal agreement between the whistleblower and the Feder­al Government, executed by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation.
Adeosun, who pointed out that procedures had been intro­duced to ensure the protection of the identity of information pro­viders during the payment pro­cess, explained that all payments are taxable and are only made upon confirmation of the final re­covery of assets as confirmed by the AGF as being free of legal dis­putes or litigation.
She also gave details of the Whistleblower Unit (WBU), a multi-agency team resident in the Ministry of Finance Headquarters and staffed by personnel from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Inde­pendent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commis­sion (ICPC), Department of State Services (DSS), the Nigeria Police Force and Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), among others.
“The Whistleblower Unit is the first line of response to whistleblowers’ information, where initial review is undertak­en before cases are forwarded to the relevant investigative agen­cies,” Adeosun said.
Following the approval of the whistleblowing policy in 2016, the WBU has received 2,150 commu­nications and 337 tips through its dedicated channels from many Nigerians, which, the ministry said, has led to the recovery of substantial assets that were illegal­ly acquired by various individuals.

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