The Federal Government’s current war against abuses in the nation’s public finance is yielding desired results with the about N174.7 billion savings so far from the Whistleblowing Policy.
The policy was introduced by the Federal Ministry of Finance in December 2016 with the purposes of enlisting civil society’s support for the anti-corruption crusade by rewarding financially whoever provides information confidentially to the fiscal authorities on individuals and entities that had defrauded goverrment in any form.
According to the data provided on the successes recorded so far in the war against corruption by the Presidency on Democracy Day, the Whistleblower policy had helped government to recover N13.8 billion from tax evaders, N7.8 billion, US$378million and £27,800 from public officials targeted by whistleblowers.
The Presidency confirmed that since implementation, the Ministry of Finance had received a total of 8,373 communications on contract inflation, ghost workers, illegal recruitment and misappropriation of funds, as a result of the Whistleblower Policy.
Of this number of communications, 1,231 are specifically whistleblowing tips.
The report showed that in May 2018, the government paid N439.2 million to about 14 whistleblowers who gave specific tips on tax evasion.
The Presidency also stated that the Ministry of Finance had also undertaken 791 investigations and completed 534 of those investigations, adding that 10 percent of those investigated are presently under prosecution while four convictions have been secured.
On the increased oversight of MDAs, the report stated that the National Economic Council (NEC), under the Chairmanship of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, approved the audit of key federal revenue generating agencies, with revealing results.
According to the result of the audit, a total sum of N526 billion and US$21 billion was underpaid to the Federation Account between 2010 and 2015.
The National Economic Council (NEC ) has now 23 approved the extension of that audit to cover the period until June 2017.
The report indicated that government was also addressing the issue of poor levels of remittance of operating surpluses by MDAs.
The Presidency cited the case of JAMB, which remitted only N51 million between 2010 and 2016, and had now been compelled based on the result of its audit to remit N7.8 billion last year, and would also remit a similar amount in 2018.