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FG Okays 5% of Recovered Loot for Whistleblowers

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Kemi Adeosun
  • FG Okays 5% of Recovered Loot for Whistleblowers

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the Ministry of Finance Whistleblowing Programme that may see individuals, who voluntarily volunteers credible information on stolen or concealed funds, smiling home with between 2.5 per cent and five per cent of the funds when recovered.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Adeosun said the programme was designed to encourage anyone with information about a violation, misconduct or improper activity that impacted negatively on Nigerians and government, to report such.

She said, “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.

“You must have provided the government with information it does not already have and could not otherwise obtain from any other publicly available source to the government.”

The minister said the programme would serve as a stop-gap till a bill on the same matter, presently before the National Assembly, was passed into law.

She explained that there would be a secure online portal where the information could be submitted.

After submitting such information, she said the whistleblower could also check the status of his report on the portal.

Examples of information that could be submitted, according to the minister, are mismanagement or misappropriation of public funds and assets, including properties and vehicles; financial malpractice or fraud; collecting/soliciting bribes; and corruption.

Others infraction, the minister said, included diversion of revenues; fraudulent and unapproved payments; splitting of contracts; and procurement fraud that included kickbacks and over-invoicing among others.

Adeosun, however, warned that under the programme, personal matters, concerning private contracts or agreements, would not be allowed.

She explained that the information could be submitted through the online portal by e-mail or by phone.

The finance minister added that the information, which could be submitted on condition of anonymity, could be submitted through documentary evidence and provision of specific and fact-based information such as what occurred, amount involved, who was involved and dates of occurrence on the portal.

Adeosun added, “Confidentiality will be maintained to the fullest extent within the limitations of the law. If you choose not to disclose your identity, there will be no record of who you are. If you choose to disclose your identity, it will be fully protected.

“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 have suffered harassment, intimidation or victimisation for sharing your concerns, restitution will be made for any loss suffered.”

Adeosun added that the information provided would be reviewed and analysed to determine whether or not to open an investigation into the matter.

In matters that are criminal in nature, she said such cases would be referred to relevant agencies such as the police, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission or the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The minister explained that apart from possible prosecution, those found guilty would be blacklisted from working with or doing business with the government.

Adeosun, however, warned that false information could attract prosecution.

She said, “A first-level review will always be carried out to determine credibility and sufficiency of information received.

“If you report false or misleading information, it will be referred to the enforcement agents for investigation and possible prosecution.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market.

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Finance

CBN Spends $11.5bn in Q1 2020 to Support the Economy and Dwindling Naira

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CBN

CBN Injects $11.5bn Into the Economy in the First Quarter

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) injected a combined $11.5 billion into the nation’s foreign exchange market to stabilise the economy and support the Naira value in the first quarter of the year.

According to the latest report from the apex bank, the central bank injected $2.96 billion into the nation’s forex market in the month of January. Another $3.39 billion was used to support the economy in February while $4.7 billion was supplied in the month of March, the very month the economy was locked and all operations grounded to curb the spread of COVID-19.

A further breakdown of the report revealed that the Investors and Exporters’ foreign exchange window, Small and Medium enterprises and Invisible segments received a total of $7.23 billion of the $11.5 billion, the Bureau De Change segment received $3.6 billion while the Interbank and WDAS/RDAS got the rest in the first quarter.

The report noted that the apex bank injected a total sum of $14.72 billion and $28.55 billion into the economy in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Meanwhile, the central bank is yet to commence the sales of forex to the bureau de change following the March suspension.

But has commenced partial sales to all commercial banks for onward sales to parents and small businesses across the country.

Mr Isaac Okorafor, the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, had said, “The CBN has also made complete arrangements to resume foreign exchange sales to the BDC segment of the market for business travels, personal travels and other designated retail uses, as soon as international flights resume.”

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DSS Arrests EFCC, Acting Chairman, Magu

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Dss Arrests Ibrahim Magu

DSS Arrested Magu, the Acting Chairman of EFCC

The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on allegation bordering on financial misappropriation, abuse of power and embesslement.

The Acting Chairman was accused of siphoning part of the money recovered from looters, a Punch reported stated.

The report stated “It was learnt that the security details to Magu put up a stiff resistance during the arrest of their principal, as they objected to the DSS move.

But he is now undergoing interrogation at the DSS Headquarters In Aso Drive.

This is happening barely two weeks after the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) reportedly complained to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) about Magu’s conduct and advised that he should be relieved of his appointment.

The AGF was said to have accused Magu of insubordination and discrepancies in the figures of funds recovered by the EFCC.

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Again CBN Debits Banks N118 Billion for Failing to Meet CRR Target

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CBN Debits Deposit Money Banks N118bn for Not Meeting CRR Target

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday debited the nation’s deposit money banks a total sum of N118 billion for failing to meet 27.5 percent Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) target.

This is the fourth of such action, bringing the total amount debited so far this year to N2.2 trillion.

According to Tunde Abidoye, an analyst at Lagos-based FBN Quest, the move brings “further downward pressure on banks liquidity ratios and earnings.”

“Based on the total sum that each bank has been debited this year, and our NIM assumptions for each bank, we estimate an aggregate opportunity cost of funds of N86bn for our universe of banks coverage,” Abidoye stated in a note to clients.

The central bank continues to debit banks to force them to loan more into the real sector and also reduce their forex purchasing power to better manage the nation’s weak foreign reserves and curb capital outflow. A series of recent reports have pointed to a possible foreign exchange devaluation to ease pressure on the nation’s reserves.

The report shows that the Stanbic IBTC and Guaranty Trust Bank were debited N15 billion each.

Details later…

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