From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, yesterday gave reasons why the whistleblower who gave the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) tips that led to the recovery of $43.4 million, N23.3 million and 27,800 Euros stashed away in an apartment at the Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos on April 22.
Adeosun’s response is coming at a time the matter got engulfed in controversy, with many Nigerians lampooning the Federal Government over its unwillingness to pay the five per cent commission to the whistleblower as enshrined in the policy, though the EFCC claimed the man had become a millionaire after receiving his commission.
According to the Minister, “the Federal Government has not withheld any fund due to any whistleblower. The Ministry has in place detailed procedures for processing payments under the Whistleblower Policy. The procedures were designed to prevent abuse and legal disputes and to ensure protection of the information providers.
“These procedures include an application by the agency who recovered the funds including evidence of the recovery, confirmation that there are no pending legal issues on the recovery, verification of the identity of the information provider, calculation of the amount payable and computation of relevant taxes”, she said in a statement.
Adeosun further revealed that payments are made in monthly batches to ensure control and to protect the identity of information providers.
“To date, over 20 of such persons have been paid. From available records, the payment due on Ikoyi is among those being processed in the November batch, which will be released within the current month.
“The Whistleblowing Policy of the Federal Government remains one of the current administration’s successful initiatives and that the government is fully committed to ensuring that all those who responded to the policy and partnered with the government in the recovery effort are paid in full and most importantly have their identity protected”, she added.
Recall that the Whistleblower Policy was introduced in December 2016 by the Federal Government as part of the initiatives to wage war against corruption.