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FG vows to protect, reward whistle-blowers

From Magnus Eze, Abuja

The Federal Government, yesterday, vowed to protect and reward whistle-blowers who provide information that leads to the recovery of stolen funds or assets.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who gave the reassurance, said government will not only protect the identity of all whistle-blowers, be they in the public or private sector, but will ensure any information provided is kept secret.

Mohammed’s statement came on the heels of increasing cases of victimisation of whistle-blowers and presentations to the Presidential Assets Recovery Committee by concerned citizens and groups on their safety.

One of such victims was Mr. Ntia Thompson, an assistant director with the Directorate for Technical Cooperation in Africa (DTCA), who was sacked for allegedly exposing the diversion of $229,000 and N800, 000 by key officials of DTCA, an agency under Foreign Affairs Ministry.

But the statement by Special Assistant to the minister, Mr. Segun Adeyemi, said cases of those who may have suffered any backlash as a result of the information they provided will be reviewed and appropriate mitigating actions taken.

“Whistle-blowers have nothing to fear, because the committee has put in place the necessary measures to safeguard those who give useful information. As a matter of fact, whistle-blowers have everything to gain and nothing to lose,” he said.

The minister further explained the reward system for whistle-blowing thus: “any whistle-blower whose information leads to the recovery of up to N1 billion will receive five percent of the amount; that the reward for any amount between one and N5 billion will be five percent for the first N1 billion and four percent of the remaining N4 billion, while any amount over N5 billion will attract 2.5 percent reward.

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