By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja -The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) has said that the sums of N7.8 Billion, US$378 Million and £27,800 have been the recovered amounts since the inception of the Whistleblowing policy.
It also said that the Whistleblower unit has received 8,373 communications, 1,231 tips, carried out 791 investigations, completed 534 investigations and referred a total of 40 cases to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Department of State Services (DSS).
The Director( Special Projects)/ Secretary PICA, Dr. Mohammed Dikwa made these known in a presentation at the Seminar organized by the Federal Ministry of Finance for Finance Correspondents in Abuja.
He noted that the PICA has the responsibility to; Increase exposure of financial or related crimes; Support the fight against financial crimes and corruption; Improve level of public confidence in public entities; Enhance transparency and accountability in the management of public funds; Improve Nigeria’s Open Government Ranking and Ease of Doing Business Indicators; and Recovery of Public Funds that can be deployed to finance Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit.
Speaking on the milestones achieved by PICA in 2017, he noted that the following sums have been saved in 2017 alone: “Reduction in personnel cost to MDAs (Jan –to Nov, 2017) N14,350,836,000.00; Reduction in the non-regular allowances of health institutions, N3,600,000,000.00; Savings from Personnel Verification exercises (Phase I) N36,607,557,616.59
Others are: Savings from Personnel Verification exercises (Phase II) N32,394,067,541.11; Savings from Personnel Verification exercises (Phase III) N23,508,637,038.30.
This amounted to a total savings of 110,461,098,196.00 in 2017 alone and N208,401,072,540.25 as total savings for 2016 and 2017 combined.
The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) was set up by the Federal Government in March 2016 with a mandate to validate controls, assess risks, prune personnel cost, ensure compliance with public financial management reform, detect errors and making recommendations to management for necessary actions.