13 November 2017

Nigeria: Over 20 Whistleblowers Paid in Nigeria Anti-Graft Policy

Abuja — THE Nigerian government has paid more than 20 whistleblowers since the policy introduced in 2016 as part of initiatives against corruption. Kemi Adeosun, the Minister of Finance, disclosed the numbers as she denied government was withholding any funds to whistleblowers.

It could not be ascertained how much had been paid. Adeosun thus dismissed media reports an informant who provided tips that led to the recovery of US$43 million stashed away in a property in the commercial Lagos State had been denied payment due to them. "To date, over 20 of such persons have been paid," the minister disclosed.

She said from available records, the payment due to the Lagos whistleblower was among those being processed in the November batch, which would be released within the current month. Adeosun said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari had in place detailed procedures for processing payments due under the whistleblower policy. "The procedures were designed to prevent abuse and legal disputes and to ensure protection of the information providers."

These procedures include an application by the agency who recovered the funds including evidence of the recovery, confirmation around pending legal issues on the recovery, verification of the identity of the information provider, calculation of the amount payable and computation of relevant taxes.

Adeosun assured all those who responded to the whistleblower policy and partnered with government in the recovery effort that they would be paid in full and their identity protected. Nigeria, Africa's most populous country and biggest economy, has a reputation for corruption. Buhari, a military dictator in the 1980s, was re-elected in 2015 on a campaign premised on eliminating graft. - CAJ News

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