Mohammed Dikwa, Director of PICA disclosed this in Abuja while speaking at a one-day technical workshop on whistle blowing organised by the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL).
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THE Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), says about 1,983 tips have been submitted by whistle-blowers since the launch of the whistle-blowing policy in December 2016.
Represented by Mohammed Isa, Deputy Director of PICA, Dikwa further disclosed that investigation had been completed on 623 cases, while four persons had been convicted.
While speaking on the rationale behind the workshop, Chido Onumah, Coordinator of AFRICMIL, said the workshop was organised for law enforcement and revenue-generating agencies to understand and review existing structures and mechanisms for the implementation of the whistle-blower policy, examine good practices from other places as well as equip participants with skills for analysing tips and carrying out investigations.
He said the aim of the workshop was to empower participants with due diligence mechanisms in dealing with whistle-blowing cases so that they could apply the knowledge gained in advancing the whistle-blower policy in their various agencies.
Onumah explained that the workshop was one of the activities lined up by AFRICMIL under its anti-corruption project tagged ‘Corruption Anonymous’ which aims at sensitising citizens on the whistleblowing policy and the need to join in the fight against corruption.
Supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the project seeks to promote and mobilise support for the whistleblower policy by creating awareness for the policy, preserving the integrity of the process and advocating for the protection of whistleblowers.
Speaking at the event, Kayode Oladele, Chairman, House Committee on Financial Crimes, said, while the bill for protection of whistle-blowers had passed the third reading at the Senate, the same bill had just passed second reading at the House of Representatives and would soon go for third reading after a public hearing.
He stated that for the whistle-blowing policy to work, there must be a deliberate move by the Executive and Legislature to work together, adding that the whistle-blower policy would be passed before the end of the 8th Assembly.
Dayo Olaide, Deputy Country Director of The John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, said there was need for Nigerians to own the anti-corruption fight as a thousand EFCC was not enough to deal with corruption in Nigeria.
He pointed out that the few anti-corruption agencies in the country could not be everywhere and so required the input of Nigerians in the anti-graft war.
Maxwell Kadiri of the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), emphasized the need for government agencies to work together noting that recent findings indicated a lack of synergy on the whistle-blowing policy among the various government agencies.
The event attracted participants from the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Nigeria Customs Service, NNPC, Nigeria Immigration Service, NEITI, EFCC, ICPC, National Orientation Agency, Federal Ministry of Justice, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Code of Conduct Bureau, and Police Service Commission.
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