The minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, has said that the whistle-blowing policy adopted by the federal government has made every Nigerian a detective and patriotic.
While speaking at a town hall meeting organised to showcase the achievements of the Buhari administration, on Tuesday, May 16, in Abuja, the minister disclosed that the Federal Government has received 2,500 tips from whistle-blowers.
However, Adeosun said not all the whistle-blowers want rewards as some volunteered information as a patriotic act, while adding that the government has blocked various financial leakages. In her words:
“On the other measures we are using to fight corruption, apart from the TSA (Treasury Single Account), you all know about the whistle-blower policy, which has helped to make every Nigerian a detective. As we know, the policy says if you know something, say something and patriotic Nigerians are now saying a lot of things.
“We have over 2,500 tips from various quarters. They are not just the big monies that we see in the papers, but the other monies, like someone diverting the money of a university. We go in there and we stop it. I think the fight against corruption is the people’s fight.
“Note that not all the whistle-blowers are looking for rewards. Some are just patriotic citizens. Now that everyone has embraced the policy, this has become a national fight against corruption. We thank everybody who has helped the government. This is a national fight against corruption.
“On the issue of ghost workers, we are removing dead people from the payroll every week. We are blocking loopholes such that people taking the salaries of 10 or 20 people can no longer do that. We have also been able to create more employment by flushing out the ghost workers.”
However, the minister noted that the loot recovered via the whistleblower policy and other anti-corruption processes was not enough to fund the nation’s budget.
“The recovered funds so far are not enough to fund the projects we have. Of course, we are still going to continue to pursue those who looted funds and recover as much as possible.
“What borrowing does for us in the short term is to give us flexibility because if we recover a lot, we can always pay back. But if we have to rely on recovered funds, and of course, it takes a long time to recover some of this money,” Adeosun said.
Pointing out that some of the Abacha loot has been with the Swiss for 20 years and still not back, Adeosun said; “Some of these stolen monies, when you try to get it back, we go to court, so we cannot afford to rely on recovered monies to fund our budget.”
At the town hall meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, nine ministers gave reports of performances of their ministries and governance in general.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed who was the host minister gave the overview of government’s performance so far, disclosing that government had successfully taken on corruption at its core, contrary to what many may want to believe.
“There are more prosecutions and there will be more convictions for public sector corruption than Nigeria has ever seen. We have acted to address the leakages in government spending that make corruption possible. The
“The anti-corruption war is yielding dividends through the zero- based budgeting, the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the government’s efficiency unit and the hugely successful whistle-blower policy,” Mohammed said.
The minister recalled that before Buhari took over, corruption level in the society and the brazenness and impunity of those involved had become completely unacceptable. But the current government is now restoring the sanctity of the judicial system and implementing Economic Recovery and Growth Plan designed to reset the economy.
Mohammed said that the administration had also achieved a lot in its agenda of economic recovery and restoring security to the entire country and the North-East in particular.