Three years after the introduction of the whistle-blowing policy, the federal government has saved N594, 089 billion.
The Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Muhammed Dikwa made the disclosure at a workshop on the overview of whistle-blowing policy in Nigeria.
Dikwa who spoke on the workshop theme; “implementation of the whistle-blowing policy in Nigeria, issues, challenges and way forward, affirmed that the policy has come to stay in Nigeria, stressing that Nigeria has joined other countries of the world to accept the policy as a global acceptable norm.
He further stated that what prompted the introduction of the policy and the need for its legislation was the Federal Government’s commitment to reducing cost of governance and bringing wastage and leakages to the barest minimum.
The permanent secretary also noted that the policy was introduced in order to fight corruption, and other financial crimes, like violation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), elimination of ghost workers syndrome, staff collecting double salaries in more than one organization.
Others are retirees without proper records but still collecting salaries, recoveries of salaries from retired diplomats for almost two years to the tune of N192m, non remittances by MDAs, amongst other crimes. He added that, the policy has drastically reduced corruption in both civil and criminal cases.
On the challenges encountered during the course of implementing the policy, the Permanent Secretary highlighted lack of proper legal framework, poor funding, lack of coordination and diverse information among relevant organisations, not following proper channel to give information, adding that, sometimes information given were fake, which, he said, contradicts investigations.
Charting the way forward, Dr. Dikwa said the whistle blowing and witness protection bill 2019, was being put together to make the policy effective and provide legal backing/administrative guide.
He therefore urged the participants to critically review the draft bill and make additional inputs to be forward same to the National Assembly for passage and enactment.
The Chairman of the Whistle blowing draft Committee, Mrs. Peculiar Ohabor, a Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Justice, in her presentation said the draft bill which has 18 bits and 107 sections sprang up as a result of societies evolving, adding that countries like Canada, Senegal, United Kingdom, USA, and European Union have already accepted the policy, stressing the need for Nigeria to legalize and institutionalize it.