The Anti-corruption Unit of the Kaduna State Ministry of Justice has trained heads of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) in the State on tip-offs and anonymous whistle blowing to ensure accountability and effective service delivery in public service.
Addressing participants during the training,held on Wednesday in Kaduna, Hajiya Aisha Dikko, Kaduna State Commissioner for Justice, said the training was to equip participants with the new concept on the policy of whistle blowing that ensure confidentiality.
Dikko explained that,the initiative provided an independent body that would protect the identity of the person making any report.
“The State Government has engaged Deloitte, a renowned and independent firm, to create a fair playing ground between the one making the report and the individual and/or the organization the report is being made against.
“The idea is to provide a platform where anyone in the case where there are infractions, could make reports and be rest assured of fear of intimidation from any third party,” she said.
The Commissioner, however, cautioned that the State Government whistle blower law was still in place, noting that the law provided punitive sanction against anyone who gave malicious or false information.
“If anyone makes any report, it would be subjected to thorough investigation before necessary steps are taken,” she added.
The Manager of Deloitte Risk Advisory, Mr. Abayomi Aina in a presentation said, Deloitte Tip-offs Anonymous (TOA) training provided opportunity for an individual to make report of any wrong doing without the identity of the person known.
Mr.Aina explained that the concept would allow reporters raise concerns about fraud, wrong doing and misconduct to the relevant authorities.
“Such concerns could relate to; issues around asset mismanagement, harassment, forgery, maltreatment, expenses claim abuse amongst others.
“This is necessary as it would; safeguard the State’s reputation, encourage a speak up culture, encourage the culture of transparency and helps you to secure your job.
“Employees have been afraid of indisposed whistle blowing because, fear of victimisation, lack of anonymity confidentiality, management inaction, lack of incentive, covering for connected persons,” he explained.
He said the platform is independently managed, provided multiple reporting channels, adding that all stakeholders in Deloitte were employees, consultants that operated the year round.
“Deloitte also operates globally, has multilingual handlers, provides a toll-free line through which reports can be channeled” he said.
Mr. Aina, further explained that firm does not have access to the complainer and that the calls were configured in a manner that it can’t access the identity or location of the individual making a report.
“The levels of anonymity to include; completely anonymous, partially anonymous and confidential anonymous levels, take precaution, remain discrete in providing all available information on the case concerned” he said.
One of the participants, Alhaji Zaid Abubakar, Executive Chairman, Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service, said the initiative was a welcomed development as it aimed at strengthening the State Government institutions for effective service delivery.
“The Government wants to ensure that the public service is well up and doing by responding to the needs of the public,” he said.
Hajiya Umma Yusuf-Aboki, Executive Secretary of Kaduna Investment and Promotion Agency (KADIPA) on her part noted that the training would provide the public an opportunity for the people to be part of governance.
“let the people be accountable over wrong doings in the government. I am confident with the reputation of Deloitte as it is an internationally recognised firm”. She said.