The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has said that the Federal Government recovered N11.6 billion so far from the tips they received since the Whistleblower Policy was launched in December 2016.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the fifth Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR) Lunch Time Seminar, with the theme: ‘The Whistleblower Policy and its Implications for Public Servants’, Adeosun said that out of the 5,000 tips received government only acted on 365 of them and that N375.8 million had been paid to 20 whistleblowers who provided information that led to the recovery.
She said the Whistleblower Policy had been one of government’s most successful new initiatives, adding that over half of the tips came from public servants touching on issues like contract inflation, ghost workers, illegal recruitment, misappropriation of funds, illegal sale of government assets, diversion of revenues and violation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) regulations, among others.
She said 39 per cent (144) of the actionable tips related to misappropriation and diversion of funds/revenue, 16 per cent (60) related to ghost workers, illegal recruitment and embezzlement of funds meant for personnel emolument, 15 per cent (56) related to violation of TSA regulations, 13 per cent (49) related to contract inflation/violation of the Procurement Act and failure to carry out projects for which funds had been released and nine per cent (34) related to non-remittance of pension and NHIS deductions, while others included concealed bail-out funds and embezzlement of funds from donor agencies.
“Part of our work is to analyse trends and take corrective actions. For example, many of the salary, tax and pension under remittance cases shared a common thread. Several cases where institutions were found to have insufficient funds to meet there obligations often had illegal recruitments which bloated the wage bill and agencies responded by part-paying or short paying salaries, whilst applying to FG for salary shortfall payments. We are revising our procedures for approval of recruitment, which will improve our budgeting and control.
“Equally, in many cases where revenue has been diverted to accounts outside TSA, we have reviewed our reconciliation and receipting processes. So the information being provided is useful in driving process improvements. If as a civil servant you have information about a possible misconduct or violation that has occurred, is ongoing, or is about to occur, we implore you to come forward and report it. You can submit your information anonymously and confidentially through the online portal, by email or by phone and if you choose to disclose your identity, I assure you that it will be fully protected.”