The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, on Sunday said that the whistle-blower who informed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of the N13bn recovered from an Ikoyi apartment in Lagos would be paid this month.
Adeosun said this in a statement issued by her Special Adviser, Media and Communications, Mr Oluyinka Akintunde.
She denied claims that the government had withheld any fund due to any whistle-blower, adding that the delay was caused by the administrative procedures that must be fulfilled before such funds are released.
The statement read in part, “The attention of the Honourable Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has been drawn to media reports surrounding the payment to a whistleblower, who provided the tips that led to the recovery of funds stashed away in a property in Ikoyi, Lagos State.
“The Honourable Minister wishes to state unequivocally that the Federal Government has not withheld any fund due to any whistleblower.
“The ministry has in place detailed procedures for processing payments due under the whistleblower policy.
“The procedures were designed to prevent abuse and legal disputes and to ensure protection of the information providers.
“These procedures include an application by the agency who recovered the funds including evidence of the recovery, confirmation that there are no pending legal issues on the recovery, verification of the identity of the information provider, calculation of the amount payable and computation of relevant taxes.
“It must be stated also that payments are made in monthly batches to ensure control and to protect the identity of information providers.
“To date, over 20 of such persons have been paid. From available records, the payment due on Ikoyi is among those being processed in the November batch, which will be released within the current month.”
Adeosun restated that the whistleblowing policy of the Federal Government remains one of the current administration’s successful initiatives and that the government was fully committed to ensuring that all those who responded to the policy and partnered with it in the recovery effort are paid in full and most importantly have their identity protected.
The whistleblower policy was introduced in December 2016 by the Federal Government as part of the initiatives to wage war against corruption.