The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the country’s whistle-blower policy has to be expanded to protect those, who expose corrupt practices, gross mismanagement and acts inimical to public health and safety from backlash and reprisals. The Vice President made the call during a virtual National Conference on Whistleblower Policy on Tuesday in Abuja. Osinbajo noted that the Federal Government's whistle-blower policy was developed as a tool for the exposure of corruption and corrupt actors in Government and to validate controls and ensuring compliance with public finance management principles.
“It is clear that under the current whistle-blower policy, it is only with respect to acts of corruption that whistle-blowing is considered lawful.
“However, there is 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.”
“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.
“As we deliberate on the finer details of the implementation of this policy, we must consistently remind ourselves of the importance of the task at hand notwithstanding the difficulties.
“These may include witness protection type provisions and this will give the whistle-blower some protection where they may have to appear in court.
“Certainty and clarity of the reporting processes and adequate protection of the whistle-blowers would improve confidence in the initiative.
“Similarly, enhanced transparency and accountability in the implementation of the policy will result in more discoveries and recoveries.”