N375.8m will be paid to 20 whistleblowers by the Federal Government, the money will be given to individuals who provided information that led to the uncovering of N11.6bn.
Mr Salisu Dambatta, Director of Information disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday. According to him, payment will be made available to individuals who made discoveries on assets and money that has been forfeited and declared free of legal litigation by the Attorney-General of the Federation.
“This payment, which is the first under the Whistleblower Policy, underscores the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in meeting obligations to information providers under the Whistleblower Policy.
“The policy is an essential tool in the fight against corruption.
He stated further, “The Ministry, therefore, encourages all Nigerians with information on misconduct, violation or improper activity which can impact negatively on Nigeria to report it to the appropriate authority,”
Dambatta said the Whistleblower Policy had been in existence for years, but was amended to include the introduction of a formal legal agreement between information providers and the Federal Government for renumeration and confidentiality, especially during the payment process.
He said the agreement had already been executed by the Minister of Justice.
However, Dambatta declined to reveal the specific recoveries for which the monies were being paid saying that “it may endanger the whistleblowers”.
The Federal Ministry of Finance currently coordinates the Whistleblowing unit within its headquarters, which has led to discovery of money and properties looted by Nigerians.
Members of Staff from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigerian Police Force, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and Department of State Services, Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit are also present.
The Unit is the first to respond to whistleblowing claims. So far, the unit has received 2,150 communications and 337 tips through its dedicated channels from many patriotic Nigerians, which led to the recovery of substantial assets that were illegally acquired by various individuals.
The primary purpose of the Policy is to support the fight against financial crimes and corruption, promote accountability and enhance transparency in the management of public funds and assets.