Opinion

#PoliticalObservation: Andrew Yakubu’s Whistleblower to get N151.9million, will FG fulfill that pledge?

N3.039billion was the total sum recovered, so far, from a former GMD of Nigeria’s oil corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu; thanks to Nigeria’s anti-graft agency that worked on the information provided by a whistleblower.

According to the Nigeria’s Whistleblower Policy, the source of the info is entitled to 5% (=N151.9million) of the recovered amount, but will the Federal Ministry of Finance, the coordinator of the whistleblowing policy be willing to cough out N151, 950, 000 (5%) to the whistleblower? Opeyemi QUADRI writes on the fulfillment of FG’s pledge.

The year 2017, particularly January/February, was a huge success for the Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Latest being a farm house built by the former Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which Mr. Andrew Yakubu used as vault for foreign currencies.

In the building a whooping sum of $9.8 million was found. At the time of the discovery, the exchange rate at Nigerian apex bank was N308 to $1, amounting to N3.01 billion.

That’s not all; the same building housed another 74, 000 GB Pound Sterling. At the time, 1GPS was N393, amounting to N29.08million.

N3.01 billion+ N29.08million= N3.039billion

EFCC operatives didn’t just stumble upon a building within a farm land located at Sabon Tasha, Kaduna State, but the agency’s success could be attributed to useful information provided by a whistleblower.

The building where the monies were discovered was what the locals within the farm see everyday. No one ever thought it’s was a power house, which was more valuable than some of the branches of financial institutions in the country.

The building was dirty outside, but it housed the biggest official booty ever discovered by EFCC in 2017.

It was a treasure.

Few hours after EFCC broke the news, budgiT published an infographic giving a breakdown of what Andrew Yakubu’s N3.039 official booty could do in the 2017 proposed budget, forgetting the 5% accrue to the whistleblower.

Looking at the worth of the loot, it may be difficult to pay the whistleblower N151, 950, 000 (5%) right away considering the template of the law guiding the policy:

The whistleblower is anonymous; the probability of being underpay is 50-50.

The whistleblower doesn’t want to be known, so there is tendency that he/she settles with whatever amount he/she is given (in as much it’s in million, even if it’s not up to 50% of the 5% he’s due).

But whatever the case maybe, the government, must live by his words if it hopes to encourage Nigerians to report financial and other related crimes to relevant authorities.

Since the whistleblower life is at risk if he cries out in situation whereby he feels he’s been cheated, we hope that the Federal Ministry of Finance doesn’t capitalize on this.

There will be whistleblower inside whistleblower policy; we hope that those managing the whistleblowing portal are trusted individuals so that the life of a successful whistleblower isn’t exposed to further danger as a result of leak of information regarding the original whistleblower.

The whistleblowing policy will only be successful if the government continues to fulfill its promise, and if the continued 100% protection of the whistleblower is sustained.

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Keep a close watch on the politicians and public officials around you. So, are you ready to blow the whistle?

Nigeria’s WhistleBlowing Contact

Phone number: 09098067946 Phone calls: Monday-Friday (10AM-3PM) except on public holidays

E-mail: whistle@finance.gov.ng

Official Website of Nigeria’s Whistleblower: http://whistle.finance.gov.ng/

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