Uche Usim, Abuja
The Federal Government on Thursday expressed worry over the diminishing number of persons willing to divulge information on looted funds and other corrupt practices.
The matter is worsened by the fact that the whistleblowers are no longer comfortable to blow the cover of corrupt persons since the new arrangement requires them to fill forms to document their claims.
The Permanent Secretary Special Duty in the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Head, Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), Mr Mohammed Dikwa made the revelations on Thursday in Abuja at a workshop to discuss the draft bill of the whistle blowing policy.
He, however, said that N594.08 billion was saved between 2016-2018 after 50,000 ghost workers were deleted from government’s payroll.
According to him, 800 staff involved in collection of double salaries and 400 personnel who left the civil service and were still collecting salaries for two years were discovered.
Dikwa said: “the reported cases of whistle blowing or the tips used to come frequently on a daily basis when we just introduced it in November, 2016.
“When we started, we received 2,000 reported cases monthly but it has gone down now drastically.”
As a solution, Dikwa said the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) he instituted measures to avoid situations where people will come and give false information and get away with it.
“With what we are putting in place now, we will make sure anyone that gives information that has to do with recovery of money is rewarded. The same measure will ensure those who give false information to undermine anybody are duly punished” he said.
He revealed that another challenge confronting the whistleblower initiative was the absence of legislation backing the policy.
Dikwa said that the current government was committed to giving this whistle blowing policy a legislative backing for smooth implementation.