What Is the Whistleblowing Programme

The Whistleblowing Programme is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Finance that seeks to encourage anyone in possession of information about any of the following, to report it for Investigation.

– Violation of government financial regulations / procurement procedures

– Mismanagement or misappropriation of public funds and assets

– Financial Malpractice / Fraud / Theft of public assets

– Information on stolen or concealed public assets

– Manipulation of data or records

– Solicitation or collection of bribes

– Undocumented expenditure

– Splitting of contracts

– Conflicts of Interest

– Diversion/underreporting/concealment/non-remittance of government revenues

– Any other form of corruption involving government funds and assets

What Are the Channels of Communication for Potential Whistleblowers

The Programme works by means of a secure online portal by which people can submit tips and reports: whistle.finance.gov.ng

There is also a telephone number through which tips/reports can be submitted: 0909 806 7946

For questions and queries about the Policy, call the above number or send an email to whistle@finance.gov.ng

What are the Requirements for Eligible Information for the Whistleblowing Programme

Information submitted must be as plentiful and as specific as possible: containing dates of occurrence, persons involved in the matter, etc. However, it is also possible that these may not always be available, and in these cases it is sufficient that the Whistleblower is making a report based largely on the reasonable belief that the information s/he is providing is true.

ALSO READ  Buhari vows to restore accountability to Nigeria

What’s our Commitment to Whistleblowers

A Whistleblower can be any person or group of persons or institution within or outside the Government, that reasonably believes that a violation of accountability has occurred relating to government resources — funds or physical assets. Reports must relate to the violations outlined above, be made in good faith, not out of malice or to settle personal grievances, and not for the purposes of personal gain.

Whistleblowers are entitled to anonymity while providing information. If a Whistleblower chooses to not be anonymous, he/she is entitled to the strictest confidentiality, within the limitations of the law. This means that their identity will be disclosed only in circumstances required by the law.

The Policy will protect all Whistleblowers, regardless of whether or not the matter raised is upheld against the target. The Policy also makes provisions for redress by Whistleblowers who feel that they are suffering adverse treatment of any sort as a result of their whistleblowing activity.

Whistleblowers will be able to independently monitor the status or progress of tips/reports submitted.

What Happens When a Whistleblowing Report Is Submitted

The Whistleblowing Programme is managed by an Investigations Unit under the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), within the Federal Ministry of Finance.

When a report is submitted, the administrators of the Whistleblowing Programme will analyse it and make a decision as to whether the information is sufficient or credible enough to warrant the opening of an investigation into it under the terms of the Whistleblowing Programme. This preliminary analysis will be conducted within ten (10) working days of the receipt of information.

ALSO READ  Avengers threaten another blast, warn NUPENG, PENGASSAN, foreigners to quit Niger Delta

Investigations may be carried out internally (by the PICA Investigations Unit), externally (by another government body), or may require the constitution of an independent inquiry. Investigations will be conducted confidentially and speedily, and feedback will be provided to the Whistleblower. Official written records will be kept of all investigations.

What’s In It for a Genuine Whistleblower

All acts of whistleblowing that lead to the voluntary return of stolen or diverted public funds or assets will be eligible to benefit from a Reward Scheme. The Reward Scheme will make available between 2.5 percent (minimum) and 5 percent (maximum) of the total amount recovered by Government as a direct result of the information provided by the Whistleblower, as follows:

A. Any whistle-blower whose information leads to the recovery of up to 1 billion Naira will receive 5% of the amount

B. The reward for any amount between 1 and 5 billion Naira will be 5% for
the first 1 billion Naira and 4% of the remaining 4 billion Naira

C. Any amount over 5 billion Naira will attract (in addition to what has been laid out in (A) and (B) above for the first 5 billion Naira) a 2.5% reward on the portion exceeding 5 billion Naira

For example, if a whistle-blower provides information leading to the
recovery of 10 billion Naira, he or she will receive 5% of the first 1
billion Naira, 4% of the next 4 billion Naira and 2.5% of the
remaining 5 billion Naira.

NOTE: For a report to qualify for a Reward it must directly lead to actual recovery.

What’s In It for People Who Seek to Abuse the Whistleblowing Programme

ALSO READ  Editorial: 2019: Can PDP Return To Aso Rock Again?

Information that is publicly available, or speculative, misleading or untrue, or obtained in a manner that constitutes a criminal offence, will not be eligible for the Reward Scheme.

A Whistleblower who intentionally provides information that is false or misleading will be subject to investigation and possible prosecution by law enforcement agencies.