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Graft: FG Gets 5,000 Tips From Whistle-blowers




The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on Tuesday said that the Federal Government had received a total of 5,000 tips from Nigerians through the whistle-blower policy.

She said this in Abuja during a presentation on ‘The whistle-blower policy and its implication for public servants’, which was delivered at a seminar organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms.

The whistle-blower policy, which was launched in December 2016, is aimed at addressing the issue of corruption in the management of government’s resources.

The finance minister explained that out of the 5,000 reports received from Nigerians, about 365 were actionable, adding that this had resulted in the recovery of huge sums of money by the government.

Adeosun, who did not provide details of the amount recovered when asked to do so, noted that out of the 365 actionable tips received by the government under the policy, more than 50 per cent of them came from civil servants.

As of June this year, the ministry said that the sum of N11.63bn had been recovered under the whistle-blower policy with about N375.8m paid to 20 informants under the policy.

She explained that the actionable tips dwelt on corrupt practices such as contract inflation, ghost workers, illegal recruitments, misappropriation of funds, illegal sale of government assets, diversion of revenues, and violation of Treasury Single Account regulations.

Adeosun said during the review of the information received, it was observed that certain types of tips kept recurring.

For instance, she said that 144 or 39 per cent of the 365 actionable tips related to  misappropriation and diversion of funds; 60 complaints, representing 16 per cent, related to ghost workers, illegal recruitments and embezzlement of funds meant for personnel emolument; and 56 tips or 15 per cent related to violation of the TSA regulations.

She added that 49 actionable tips or 13 per cent had to do with contract inflation/violation of the Procurement Act and failure to carry out projects for which funds were released, while 34 tips or nine per cent related to non-remittance of pension and National Health Insurance Scheme deductions.

She said, “Overall, the volume of tips received has been greater and of higher quality than expected when the programme was first adopted. We continue to receive information everyday with total communication reaching above 5,000 in July through our various reporting channels.

“There is, however, a long way to go and we must do more. Part of our work is to analyse trends and take corrective actions. For example, many of the salary, tax and pension under remittance cases shared a common thread.

“Several cases where institutions were found to have insufficient funds to meet their obligations often had illegal recruitments, which bloated the wage bill, and agencies responded by part-paying or short-paying salaries, while applying to the FG for salary shortfall payments. We are revising our procedures for approval of recruitment, which will improve our budgeting and control.

“Equally in many cases where revenue has been diverted to accounts outside the TSA, we have reviewed our reconciliation and receipting processes. So, the information being provided is useful in driving process improvements.

“If as a civil servant, you have information about a possible misconduct or violation that has occurred, is ongoing, or is about to occur, we implore you to come forward and report it. All information you provide will be reviewed, analysed and referred to be treated either administratively or criminally, through the investigative agencies.”

The minister added, “If for any reason after you have made a disclosure, you feel that you are being treated badly because of your report, you can file a formal complaint through the same confidential channels and the matter will be dealt with immediately with the seriousness it deserves. Also, where you have suffered harassment, intimidation or victimisation for sharing your concerns, the whistle-blower policy makes provisions for restitution of any loss suffered.

“The risk of corruption is significantly heightened where the reporting of wrongdoing is not supported or where those who report wrongdoing may be subject to retaliation, such as intimidation, harassment, transfer, dismissal or violence by their fellow colleagues or superiors.”

Adeosun said the protection of public sector whistle-blowers from retaliation for reporting in good faith was integral to the government’s efforts to combat corruption, safeguard integrity, and enhance accountability.

She said the whistle-blower policy was consistent with the practice in many other countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States that had passed comprehensive and dedicated legislation to protect whistle-blowers and particularly, public sector whistle-blowers.

She said the reward scheme had also acted as an incentive for disclosures as a whistle-blower was entitled to between 2.5 per cent and five per cent of the amount recovered if the information provided was original and directly led to the recovery of stolen or concealed funds or assets.

The minister said over N325m had been paid to those who provided genuine information that led to the recovery of funds under the first batch, adding that claims for the second batch were being processed.

She said, “So far, we have paid over N325m and that is the first batch under the whistle-blower policy.

“Even in the payment process, we have built in protection to ensure that whistle-blowers identity remains confidential and that bank and other details cannot be used to trace information providers.”

When asked why the Federal Government had not published the names of people from whom the money was recovered, she said, “In many cases, what led to the recovery of the money was a criminal act and one has to be charged to court under the criminal justice system and it is wrong for us to publish their names until they have actually been charged with those offences.

“But I’m sure that as time goes on, you will start to hear about cases being charged to court.”

On the issue of illegal recruitment, the minister said that the government had warned agencies against carrying out recruitment without all the necessary approvals, adding that the development was responsible for the many cases of ghost workers.

She said, “What we’ve found is that many agencies have gone ahead to recruit illegally. In some cases, somebody may retire and then you will recruit 10 people and so the salary size initially stays the same and then you promote; and then suddenly that agency can’t pay salaries and they start reporting salary shortfall. This does not comply with our guidelines on recruitment.

“We are going to be very strict on agencies as this is where the ghost workers are come in because those employed do not have job specifications and this government is very determined to stamp that out. So, there would be some measures to be rolled out to address that.”

…approves new policy guidelines for contract execution

The Federal Government has approved new policy guidelines for the execution of contracts requiring science, engineering and technology components.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed this at the First Science, Technology and Innovation Sensitisation Forum and Open House in Abuja on Tuesday.

The new policy is aimed at ensuring infusion of local content in the design and procurement of science, engineering and technology projects by government’s ministries, department and agencies.

Onu said, “I am happy to inform you that the Federal Executive Council has approved new revolutionary policy guidelines for the design and execution of programmes, projects and contracts with science, engineering and technology components.

“This is the first of its kind in our dear country. Its implementation will strengthen and deepen the role of science, technology and innovation in the future development goals of Nigeria. It will help create a new nation that guarantees that Nigerians will be prosperous and happy and that will be strong, wealthy and respected by other nations.”

The minister added, “We have conceptualised the novel National Strategy for Competitiveness in raw materials and products development in Nigeria, which is aimed at addressing the challenge of developing and implementing effective policies and strategies that will stimulate economic diversification and promote industrialisation in an irreversible manner.

“This is informed by the fact that any economy that is not diversified and dependent on the import of raw materials will find it difficult to confront the challenges of the growing shifts in global production and trade patterns.

“It is, therefore, our intention to deploy this strategy so as to help Nigeria conserve her scarce foreign exchange and stimulate global competiveness that is derived from a diversified economy. This will help the development of a domestic capacity in such a way that our country will reduce her dependence on imports as a measure to help insulate our economy from external shocks.”

Onu said Nigeria must begin to prepare for the post-petroleum economy so that it would be able to absorb the shock and avoid the recession that hit the country following the recent significant drop in oil prices.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Banking Sector

Adesola Adeduntan’s Early Departure Prompts First Bank Holdings to Scrap Capital Raise Plans



FirstBank Headquarter - Investors King

First Bank Holdings Plc has decided to scrap its plans for capital raise following the early departure of its Managing Director, Adesola Adeduntan.

The decision to cancel the extraordinary general meeting (EGM), which was planned to discuss the proposed N300 billion capital raise, comes amidst Adeduntan’s resignation from his role, eight months before the scheduled expiration of his tenure.

The bank formally announced the cancellation of the EGM in a filing seen by Investors King on Friday.

The meeting, which was initially scheduled to be held virtually on April 30, 2024, aimed to seek authorization from the company’s members for the capital raise and address other related matters.

Adeduntan’s resignation, announced on the same day as the cancellation of the EGM, comes as a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s tenure requirements affecting bank executives.

In his retirement letter addressed to the Chairman of First Bank, Adeduntan expressed gratitude for the support received during his stewardship and highlighted the strides made by the bank during his tenure.

He stated, “During this period, the bank and its subsidiaries have undergone significant changes and broken new grounds. We have repositioned the institution as an enviable financial giant in Africa.”

Adeduntan further mentioned his decision to pursue other interests, prompting his early retirement effective April 20, 2024.

The cancellation of the capital raise plans shows the impact of Adeduntan’s departure on the bank’s strategic initiatives.

It reflects a shift in priorities for First Bank Holdings as it navigates leadership changes and seeks to chart a new course for its future direction.

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Banking Sector

First Bank MD, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Resigns to Pursue New Opportunities



Dr. Adesola Adeduntan - FirstBank CEO - Investors King

Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the Managing Director of First Bank Nigeria Limited, has announced his resignation from the bank after nine years of leadership.

In a letter addressed to the Chairman of First Bank, Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale, Dr. Adeduntan expressed his decision to step down voluntarily, effective April 20, 2024, to pursue new opportunities.

Having served as the CEO since January 1, 2016, Dr. Adeduntan’s tenure has been marked by significant transformations within the institution. Under his leadership, First Bank and its subsidiaries have undergone substantial changes, positioning the bank as a formidable financial powerhouse in Africa.

In his resignation letter, Dr. Adeduntan highlighted the achievements made during his tenure, stating, “We have repositioned the institution as an enviable financial giant in Africa.”

He expressed gratitude to the board of directors of First Bank and FBN Holdings Plc for their support throughout his stewardship.

Dr. Adeduntan’s decision to resign comes as he approaches the end of his contract, which was set to expire on December 31, 2024.

He stated, “After which I would no longer be eligible for employment within the bank.” Despite his departure, he wished the institution continued success and progress in its evolution.

Throughout his career in banking and finance spanning over three decades, Dr. Adeduntan has been recognized for his contributions and received numerous awards.

He holds a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, and an MBA from Cranfield University, United Kingdom, and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

Dr. Adeduntan’s departure marks the end of an era for First Bank, as the institution prepares to transition into a new phase of its evolution.

His leadership has left a lasting legacy of transformation and growth, and his contributions will be remembered in the annals of the bank’s history.

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Banking Sector

UBA America Strengthens Commercial Diplomacy, Hosts Diplomats, Others at World Bank Summit




UBA America, the United States subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc hosted diplomats, government officials and business leaders to a networking reception in partnership with the esteemed Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) and the U.S. Department of States in Washington DC on Monday .

The event which was held on the sidelines of the ongoing IMF World Bank Spring Meetings was organised by the BCIU and US Department of State to enhance collaboration and fortify commercial diplomacy among nations, institutions and individuals.

Speaking during the event, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, noted that the bank’s co-hosting of the event via its American subsidiary, underscores its commitment towards cultivating robust relationships within the development communities in the United States.

He said, “As a distinguished member of BCIU, a non-profit organisation providing customised commercial diplomacy services, UBA Group and UBA America share BCIU’s vision of actively pursuing strategic opportunities, contributing to global economic cooperation, deepening of economic diplomacy, facilitating ideas, forging partnerships, and adding value for all stakeholders.”.

“Our resolve to co-host this Networking Reception symbolises our dedication to fostering inclusive economic growth and partnership across borders. By leveraging platforms like this, we can collectively address shared challenges and seize opportunities for sustainable development,” he stated further.

BCIU is a non-profit Association comprising of policy experts, strategic advisors, and trade educators, and offers bespoke commercial diplomacy services to the world’s governments and leading organisations, from Fortune 100 companies to global investors and multilateral institutions.

Only last year, the CEO UBA America, Sola Yomi-Ajayi, was appointed to the Board of BCIU, where she collaborates with fellow board members to ensure the organisation operates in alignment with its by-laws and New York 501(c)3 non-profit legislation.

Yomi-Ajayi has been committed to nurturing long-term organisational growth and sustainability, thereby reinforcing the bond between UBA America, BCIU, and the broader international community.

UBA America is the United States subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, one of Africa’s leading financial institutions with presence in 20 African countries, as well as in the United Kingdom, France, and the United Arab Emirates. UBA America serves as a vital link between Africa and the global financial markets, offering a range of banking services tailored to meet the needs of individuals, businesses, and institutions.

As the only sub-Saharan African bank with an operational banking license in the U.S., UBA America is uniquely positioned to provide corporate banking services to North American institutions doing business with or in Africa.

UBA America delivers treasury, trade finance, and correspondent banking solutions to sovereign and central banks, financial institutions, SMEs, foundations, and multilateral and development organizations. Leveraging its knowledge, capacity, and unique position as part of an international banking group, the Bank seeks to provide exceptional value to our customers around the world.

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