FG To Reward Whistleblowers With 5% of Recovered Loot

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved a whistleblowing policy to expose fraud and other related crimes in both the public and the private sectors.
Also yesterday, FEC approved the outline business case for discussions on the concession agreement that will facilitate private capital for the conclusion of work on the Second Niger bridge.

Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun disclosed this to State House reporters after the FEC meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In order to encourage Nigerians to key into the whistleblowers’ scheme, Adeosun 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.”

She said the policy devised by her ministry was aimed at encouraging anyone with information about a violation, misconduct or improper activity that impacts negatively on Nigerians and government to report it.

According to her, the policy’s objective is to increase exposure of financial or financial related crimes; support the fight against financial crimes and corruption; improve the level of public confidence in public entities; enhance transparency and accountability in the management of public funds; improve Nigeria’s Open Government Ranking and Ease of Doing Business Indicators; and recover public funds that can be deployed to finance Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit.

She listed information that could be submitted to include: mismanagement or misappropriation of public funds and assets (e.g. properties and vehicles); financial malpractice or fraud; collecting/ soliciting bribes; corruption; diversion of revenue; fraudulent and unapproved payments; splitting of contracts; procurement fraud (kickbacks and over-invoicing etc.).

The ministry defines a whistleblower as any person who voluntarily discloses information in good faith about a possible misconduct or violation that has occurred, is ongoing, or is about to occur.

The minister, who noted that there was a secure online portal where information could be submitted, said: “If you have already submitted your information, you can also check the status of your report on the portal.”
She however said that the policy would not apply to personal matters concerning private contracts or agreements.
She said whistleblowers could submit their information through the online portal by e-mail or by phone.

On whether a whistleblower is entitled to a financial reward, she responded: “It depends, 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.

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FG Urged To Invest Recovered Loot In Housing

A call has gone to the Federal government to invest recovered looted funds in the development of low-cost housing and mortgage financing to facilitate the reduction of housing deficit in Nigeria. Director-General, Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders (IMBL), Elisha Jasper, made the call in a congratulatory message to the President Muhammadu Buhari on his one year in office.

“There is a lack of mortgage professionals in Nigeria due to lack of mortgage studies; thereby creating a lack of knowledge and skills on mortgage brokerage, financing and lending. But IMBL cannot do it alone.

Individuals (workers and/or students), governments, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs) must all play their parts or roles in this fight.

The governing council of IMBL urges that the looted funds recovered should be reinvested in low-cost housing and mortgage. While IMBL, with help from the government, continues to raise and produce mortgage professionals, FMBN should build mass houses that can be allocated or acquired by Nigerians on mortgage,” he stated.

Jasper said that members of IMBL believe that every Nigerian should own a house, no matter the situation of the economy. He noted that the problem with housing in Nigeria has become very unbearable and unimaginable, for not just the poor or low-income earners, but also for the so-called rich and elite.

Credit: Vanguard

FG Releases List Of Recovered Loot

The Federal Government on Saturday released the highly anticipated list of recovered loot. In a statement by the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the government revealed the recoveries were made between May 29, 2015 and May 25, 2016.

The government gave the breakdown of the loot as N78, 325,354,631.82; $185,119,584.61; £3,508,355.46  and €11, 250.

A conversion of the funds using the official exchange rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the amount adds up to N115,792,760,499.

The Muhammadu Buhari-led government added that a separate amount of cash and assets worth over N2tn had also been seized. However, the properties and cash are under legal contention.

The assets and cash seized under interim forfeiture totaled: $9bn, N126bn, £2.4m and €303,399.

A conversion of the worth of assets and cash seized based on the official CBN exchange rate totaled: 1,918,113,864,063.

The government added that funds awaiting return from foreign Jurisdictions total $321,316,726.1; £6,900,000 and €11,826.11.

Credit: Punch

Breaking : Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan Govts Must Account For Recovered Loot – Court

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos in a landmark judgment has held that successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999 “breached the fundamental principles of transparency and accountability for failing to disclose details about the spending of recovered stolen public funds, including on a dedicated website.”

 

The court then ordered the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to “ensure that his government, and the governments of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and former President Goodluck Jonathan account fully for all recovered loot.”

 

The judgment was delivered on Friday by Hon Justice M.B. Idris following a Freedom of Information suit no: FHC/IKJ/CS/248/2011 brought by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

 

The details ordered by the court to be disclosed include: information on the total amount of recovered stolen public assets by each government; the amount of recovered stolen public assets spent by each government as well as the objects of such spending and the projects on which such funds were spent. Justice Idris dismissed all the objections raised by the Federal Government and upheld SERAP’s arguments.

 

Details later.

 

Credit : Vanguard