EFCC identifies whistle-blowing policy challenges
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has identified challenges against the whistle-blowing policy instituted by the Federal Government on December 21, 2016.
Speaking at a one-day town hall meeting on strengthening the capacity of stakeholders on the whistle-blowing policy with the theme, ‘The role of community-based organisations in entrenching whistle-blowing at the grass roots,’ organised by the African Centre For Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), yesterday, in Awka, Anambra State, the Executive Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, observed that the policy is experiencing challenges, which tend to undermine its effectiveness.
Bawa said: “To my mind, the most obvious is lack of adequate understanding of the legal and administrative frameworks of the policy, and the difficulties of navigating the labyrinth of bureaucratic processes for claiming the advertised incentives.
“It is also not impossible that the few false informants, who were prosecuted for wanting to turn a serious programme into a joke, discouraged other would-be informants.”
“Whatever the challenges, it is imperative that there is fresh awakening to sustain the flow of critical intelligence to Nigerian law enforcement agencies.
“We are the first to acknowledge that EFCC cannot be everywhere and, therefore, admitting the operational limitations therefrom.
“Information flowing from citizens is a highly priced, critical source of intelligence for the commission. Such intelligence is the oil that lubricates the engine of law enforcement in Nigeria.”
He recalled that two of the landmark recoveries from whistle-blowers’ information were the $9.8m recovered from a former managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, and the $11million recovered at an apartment in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.
“After these landmark recoveries and few others, and notwithstanding that those who came forward with useful information received handsome rewards, enthusiasm for the policy appears to have waned a bit,” he said.
According to the EFCC boss, AFRICMIL deserves commendation for its efforts in this area of advocacy, aimed at deepening the whistle-blowing policy as a mechanism for promoting transparency and accountability in our public life, insisting that this town hall meeting is timely.