The federal government has reassured that it will stop at nothing to protect and reward whistleblowers who have keyed into its whistleblowing policy of providing information that leads to the recovery of stolen funds or assets.
The policy which was put in place by the Ministry of Finance in conjunction with the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice aims at encouraging Nigerians to report financial and other related crimes to relevant authorities.
The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who restated government’s commitment towards protection of Nigerians involved in whistleblowing yesterday said the assurance came on the heels of presentations made to the Presidential Assets Recovery Committee by concerned citizens and groups about the safety of whistleblowers.
In a statement he personally signed and made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, Mohammed said, ‘’Whistleblowers have nothing to fear because the committee has put in place the necessary measures to safeguard those who give useful information. As a matter of fact, whistleblowers have everything to gain and nothing to lose”.
The minister said the federal government will protect the identity of all whistleblowers, whether in the public or the private sector, and also ensure that the information they provide is kept secret.
‘’For those who may have suffered any backlash as a result of the information they provide, their cases will be reviewed and appropriate mitigating actions taken”, he said.
Noting that any whistleblower whose information leads to the recovery of up to N1 billion will receive 5 per cent of the amount, Mohammed added that the reward for any amount between N1 and N5 billion will be 5 per cent for the first N1 billion and 4 per cent of the remaining N4 billion and that any amount over N5 billion will attract 2.5 per cent reward.
He said, ‘’For example, if a whistle-blower provides information leading to the recovery of 10 billion Naira, he or she will receive 5 per cent of the first 1 billion Naira, 4 per cent of the next N4 billion and 2.5 per cent of the remaining N5 billion.
‘’What we have done by making this information public is to reassure potential whistleblowers that the plan to reward is real. We are not just saying we will pay all whistleblowers, but we are letting them know in advance what they are entitled to, once the information they provide leads to the recovery of looted funds”, he stated.