‘Financial Iincentives alone not sustainable for whistleblowing’
Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo has called for a reappraisal of the policy of financial incentives on whistleblowing, arguing that preventing theft is better than recovering and chasing thieves.
Speaking at Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN Malaysia District) conference in Kuching, Malaysia, the Commissioner maintained that while whistleblowing is a patriotic activity and should be embraced by all, but it would not be a selfless undertaking, if tied solely to material gain.
In a statement, yesterday, he stated that in more advanced countries, whistleblowers are usually motivated by the good of the society, saying the policy might not be sustainable in the long run, if civic duty is not emphasised. He raised three pertinent questions in his keynote address.
First, what if those who steal public funds first settle potential whistleblowers with part of the money, would they still blow the whistle after collecting their own share? Second, are those who collect financial incentives actually patriotic or they are seeking their share of stolen money?
Third, should financial incentives be paid before recovery of stolen money or after? What if the monies are not recovered? The Commissioner, therefore, said it is better to emphasise policies that prevent corruption, than seeking to recover funds after they might have disappeared.