Uche Usim and Marcus Nkire, Abuja
The whistle-blower policy of the Federal Government has netted N605 billion since it was launched on December 21, 2016.
It also announced that the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) has seen the federation save up to N603.7 billion from 2016 till date.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed made the disclosures in Abuja at a press briefing.
According to her, PICA was already making rigorous preparations towards successfully implementing the new minimum wage and as such has invested massively in staff training and acquisition of adequate technological tools needed to achieve high productivity levels.
The Minister stated that the present administration has shown commitment to implementing the whistleblower policy, as an anti-corruption programme launched in December 2016, to tackle cases of financial mismanagement or stolen funds by individuals or organisations.
According to her, the whistleblower policy was a huge success, adding that the programme has not been discontinued, but ongoing.
“The whistleblower policy of government subsists and it is still being implemented. The total amount of collection that has been made through various efforts in the whistleblower policy is about N605 billion,” she said.
The minister said: “Our External Reserves, on the other hand, grew from $28.3 billion in 2015 to $44.69 billion as of May 13, 2019, representing a significant improvement that has helped stabilize the economy, including our currency exchange rates. Our FX market remained relatively stable from 2017 with the convergence of the NIFEX and NAFEX windows witnessed by November 2018.
“Let me first, underscore the vital role of domestic revenue mobilisation for continued economic success and inclusive growth in Nigeria. Indeed, President Muhammadu Buhari underscored the urgent need for improved revenue performance during his 2019 budget speech, and he directed the acceleration of all revenue initiatives.
“The time to act is now – if we do not address the long standing issue of “unsatisfactory revenue performance” in Nigeria, particularly in the non-oil sector, we will never realise our shared goal of ensuring appropriate financing for critical sectors such as health, education, and infrastructure, and ultimately of co-creating a Nigeria where no one is left behind.
“As Minister of Finance, I have taken on the president’s important call to action, by prioritising revenue generation, and formally launching in January 2019, the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives, a suite of comprehensive and cross-cutting interventions aimed at boosting revenue performance.
“I am pleased to share that we have made significant progress since launching the initiatives and I look forward to providing details later in my remarks.”
She also added that the ministry has achieved seven consecutive quarters of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth since the country’s exit from recession in Q2, 2017.