Friday, March 24, 2017

Looting of govt funds: We've received 2,351 tips from whistleblowers - Finance ministry



The Ministry of Finance says it has so far received 2,351 tips from whistleblowers bordering on cases of embezzlement of government funds, looting of assets and contract inflation, among others.

In a statement signed by Mr Festus Akanbi, the Special Adviser, Media to the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun said the tips came via text messages, calls, email and forms filled on the ministry’s website.

“We have received 95 feedbacks through our website, www.whistle.finance.gov.ng, 1,550 tips came through calls on 09098067946 and SMS, 412.

“Also, 194 people sent us emails on whistle@finance.gov.ng)

He said that out of the 2,351 tips, the office was currently following up on 154, it deemed actionable.

“Some of the tip include: contract inflation and conversion of government assets to personal use, ghost workers, payment of unapproved funds and embezzlement of salaries of terminated personnel.

“Also, improper reduction of financial penalties, diversion of funds meant for distribution to a particular group of people, especially farmers and diversion of funds to personal commercial bank accounts to earn interest.

“Further more, we are following up on cases of non-Remittance of pension and NHIS deductions, failure to Implement projects for which funds have been provided, embezzelment of funds received from Donor agencies and violation of TSA regulations by keeping funds in Commercial banks.

” We are also looking into violations of FIRS (VAT) regulation by adjusting Value Added Tax payment, non-procurement of equipment required for Aviation Safety, money laundering and diversion of funds meant for approved projects,” he said.

Akanbi said that top on the Minister’s agenda, as the Chairman of the Whistleblower programme was to investigate illegal sale of government assets, diversion of revenue (IGR), concealed bailout funds, Illegal recruitment and violation of procurement Act.

The Whistleblower programme was set up late last year to make it easy for the public to give information on mismanagement of public funds and assets, violation of financial regulations and other financial malpractice.

The Federal Government had promised any whistleblower whose information leads to the recovery of up to N1 billion Naira, five per cent of the amount.
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