Abuja-As the fight against misconduct in the public service intensifies, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has disclosed that whistleblowing is not batrayal but a patriotic way of contributing to nation building.
Adeosun who made the disclosure on Tuesday at the Bureau of Public Service Reforms(BPSR) Lunch Seminar in Abuja on “The whistleblower policy and its implication for public servants”, said that regaining the trust and integrity of the public service is a significant focus for this administration.
She enumerated that of the 365 actionable tips received so far, over half were from public servants touching on issues such as contract inflation, ghost workers, illegal recruitments, misappropriation of funds, illegal sale of Government assets, diversion of revenues, and violation of TSA regulations, amongst others, adding that most information providers are not motivated by financial gain.
She said; “In reviewing the information we receive, we have noticed that certain type of tips are recurring, for example; 39% (144) of the actionable tips relate to misappropriation and diversion of funds/revenue, 16% (60) relate to ghost workers, illegal recruitments and embezzlement of funds meant for personnel emolument.
“Also, 15% (56) relate to violation of TSA regulation, 13% (49) relate to contract inflation/violation of the procurement act and failure to carry out projects for which funds have been released and 9% (34) relate to non-remittance of pension & NHIS deductions. Others include concealed bail-out funds and embezzlement of funds from donor agencies.
“Overall, the volume of tips received has been greater and of higher quality than expected when the programme was first adopted. We continue to receive information everyday with total communication reaching above 5,000 in July through our various reporting channels” she asserted.
While encouraging Civil Servants to report possible misconduct or violation as their rights will be protected, she however stressed that there are serious consequences for providing false or malicious information including the possibility of prosecution so as to ensure that people are not victims of personal grudges or private misunderstandings.
The Minister announced that the Whistleblower Unit consisting of representatives from the various investigative agencies, is expected to go on a study tour to Australia to understand how they have been able to successfully implement the policy, adding also that procedures for the Whistleblower Unit to be a fully fledged operation within the Ministry of Finance is being formalized.
Earlier, the Director-General Bureau for Public Service Reforms, Dr. Joe Abah noted that the Whistleblower policy was in accord with the tenets of reforming the public service and urged public servants to expose corruption where it exists.
He explained that the seminar was organized by the agency to provide the needed platform to educate public servants on what the policy is about, and the roles public servants were expected to play to ensure its successful implementation.
Meanwhile, Public servants were also urged to Call 09098067946 or send an email to email@example.com or visit our web portal at www.whistle.finance.gov.ng to report any misconduct or violations.