Osinbajo Wants Whistleblower Policy Extended To States, LGAs

VP Yemi Osinbajo has upheld that the Federal Government’s whistleblower policy be stretched out to States and Local Government Areas “as the tier clo

The Vice President stated this on Tuesday in a keynote address conveyed virtually at the National Conference on Whistleblower Policy.

Protecting whistle-blowers essential in fight against corruption – Osinbajo

The Federal Government Whistleblower Policy was created as a device for the exposure of corruption and corrupt actors in Government and to validate controls and guaranteeing compliance with public finance management principles.

Osinbajo, while speaking on the need to enhance the whistleblower policy, stated: “albeit, some progress have been achieved through this approach, particularly at the Federal Level – with recoveries, arraignments, and convictions; it is fundamental that the policy operates widely in States and Local Governments as the tiers closest to the people and overseers of about half of the country’s revenues.

“Exposing corruption is for the good of our nation. Our goal in this regard is to harness the huge potential of the people to deliver on their moral obligation to report cases of corruption within their immediate environments.”He also said that there should be an expansion of the scope of the current framework to include issues of public safety, security, gross mismanagement of the rights of people, and waste of resources, among others, to broaden and enhance the efficacy of the whistleblower pol

icy.

According to him, “It is clear that under the current whistleblowing policy, it is only with respect to acts of corruption that whistleblowing is considered lawful. However, there are a whole range of issues that may not endanger public finance directly but may constitute public safety or security risks. Reporting such may save lives and or property.

“The scope may then cover such matters as a violation of law, gross mismanagement of the rights of people and waste of public resources, or acts inimical to public health or safety.”Prof. Osinbajo said an Act of the National Assembly to back the policy is a necessity while calling for a legislative backing.

Such a law, he added, should also provide for comprehensive protection of whistleblowers, including against reprisals from their employers and those whose activities they expose.The Vice President, while stressing the importance of his proposal for adjustments in the policy, said “certainty and clarity of the reporting processes and adequate protection of the whistleblowers would improve confidence in the initiative.

“Similarly, enhanced transparency and accountability in the implementation of the policy will result in more discoveries and recoveries.”The conference was organized by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning in collaboration with agencies and departments involved in the anti-corruption battle.