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Nigeria Whistle Blowers Act



Nigeria Whistle Blowers Act


The Federal government of Nigeria introduced a whistle blowing policy in 2016 based on the Whistleblower Act. The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said that this is to enable patriotic citizens report criminal acts such as mismanagement or misappropriation of public funds and assets, like properties and vehicles; financial malpractice or fraud; collecting / soliciting bribes; corruption; diversion of revenues; unapproved payments; splitting of contracts; procurement fraud; kickbacks and over-invoicing. It also includes: violation of company’s policy, law regulation, or a threat to life, national security or public interest. 

The whistle blower can report to the authorities through a secure online portal which would also conceal the identity of the blower. The minister said “If you whistleblow in public-spirit and in good faith, you will be protected. If you feel that you have been treated badly because of your report, you can file a formal complaint, if you report false or misleading information, it will be referred to the enforcement agents for investigation and possible prosecution.”

To motivate Nigerians to participate in the whistleblowers’ scheme, the policy states: “If there is a voluntary return of stolen or concealed public funds or assets on the account of the information provided, the whistleblower may be entitled to anywhere between 2.5 per cent (minimum) and 5.0 per cent (maximum) of the total amount recovered.”

Nigeria Whistle Blower Act

The Nigeria whistle blowers Act is a law that protects individuals who work for the government or organizations and report misconduct in their organizations.  They are encouraged to expose any kind of information or activity that is illegal or unethical. The whistle blowers can choose to operate within an organization or involve a third party.

Salient Features of Nigeria's Whistle Blower Act

  • This act makes provisions to protect the persons making public interest disclosure related to an act of corruption, misuse of power, or criminal offense by a public servant.

  •  It provides that any public servant or private individual or non-governmental organization can make such a disclosure to a Central or State Vigilance Commission.

  • The complaint must include the identity of the complainant. The Vigilance Commission shall not disclose the identity of the complainant except to the head of the department if he/she deems it necessary.

  • The Act penalizes any person who has disclosed the identity of the complainant.

  • The Act prescribes penalties for knowingly making false complaints.

  • This act covers federal government, and private bodies. There are no incentives except the government chooses to do otherwise.

  • Powers of CVC is limited to making recommendations. It cannot impose penalties. Whistle blowing is aimed at protecting the society from the wrong doings of people in political offices. At times whistle blowers face reprisal in the hands of people they have accused.

A statement by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that the Nigerian government recovered $151 million (N8 billion) in looted funds through whistleblowers . He said,  “The largest amount so far is that of $136.7 million which was recovered from an account in a commercial bank, where the money was kept under a fake account name,”

The minister urged Nigerians with useful information about misconduct to come forward and report to the authorities. However, he did not disclose the amount to be paid to the whistle blowers.

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