The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said whistleblowers who have been given leads to discovering of more looted funds are doing so as an act patriotism rather than the reward attached to it by the federal government.
Mohammed who disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Mr Segun Adeyemi thanked Nigerians for their support for the government’s anti-corruption crusade.
“Since we launched the whistleblower policy, we have received immeasurable support from Nigerians. Yes, there is monetary reward for any information that leads to recovery of looted funds, but from what we have seen, most of the Nigerians who have come forward with useful leads were driven by patriotism rather than reward,” he said.
The Minister said the various government offices set to fight corruption in the country have been inundated with information.
”Nigerians, fired by a fervid resolve to help banish corruption from their country, have daily inundated the offices of the appropriate government agencies with valuable information,” he said.
Mohammed said the government has discovered through the whistleblowing policy new methods looters use to hide looted funds. Saying looters now bury stolen funds in their backyards and burial grounds.
“We have been told how looters have resorted to burying stolen funds in their backyards, in deep forests and even in burial grounds,” he said.
He thanked the whistleblowers for determination to reveal identity and places of where looted funds were hidden by the looters.
”Thanks to whistle-blowers, it is now clear that a rapacious few have pillaged the nation’s wealth through a vicious orgy of corrupt practices,” he said.
The minister, however, lamented that more funds were in the possession of looters than were available to government at all levels which he said has made it difficult for the government to meet its obligations including paying workers’ salaries and providing social amenities.
Mohammed stressed that the government will not abandon the policy for whatever reason, but will continue to rejig it and make it more effective as a tool for fighting corruption.
He assured that as soon as the necessary reconciliation process and the litigation in some of the cases were concluded, the federal government would give full account of the recovered looted funds to Nigerians.
The information minister further re-assured Nigerians who have useful information on looted funds that the government will protect their identities and give them their stipulated reward.
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