Nigerian Government to Pay Whistle-Blowers N2.1 billion Reward
The federal government is set to pay whistle-blowers N2.1 billion for information that led to the discoveries of huge sums of money stashed away by former and president public officials.
Whistle-blowers will however only get their rewards after the conclusion of investigation by anti-graft agencies.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had announced that Nigerians who gave information leading to the discovery of looted funds will be paid up to 5 percent of the amount.
According to the Punch, four months after this policy was launched, the government has recovered about N71.7 billion.
When contacted, the Director of Information in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Salisu Dambatta, said government is still working out the framework for rewarding whistle-blowers and as soon as work on the framework is concluded, whistle-blowers will begin receiving their rewards.
He said, “The Federal Ministry of Justice is finalising the modality and framework for implementing the reward policy.
“Additionally, all recoveries reported are subject to thorough investigation by the relevant agencies.
“As soon as the processes are concluded, the reward regime will be implemented in deserving cases.”
Citing an unnamed source with the government, the newspaper said whistle-blowers will be paid after all legal hurdles had been crossed.
The source said for instance, the $9m recovered from a former Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Andrew Yakubu, was being challenged and as such, it would be premature to give the whistle-blower any money.
He said, “A lot of the recoveries made have legal obstacles which the government must overcome before paying whistle-blowers. For instance, Andrew Yakubu is challenging the Federal Government over the $9m seized from him.
“We cannot pay the whistle-blower until the money is finally forfeited to the Federal Government. So, these modalities will be worked out between the Minister of Finance and the Attorney-General of the Federation.”
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