The Federal Government has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari remains committed to strengthening fights against financial crimes as well as corruption in the country.
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this commitment; at the South West Zonal Conference on the Whistle Blower Policy in Nigeria; held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa Secretariat in Lagos State on Thursday, February 24.
The two-day conference was attended by delegates from each of the southwest states as well as other stakeholders from various institutions.
The conference was tagged: “Implementation of the Whistle Blower Policy in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and Way Forward”.
Speaking, Ahmed said, equally important, the Whistle Blower policy in Nigeria was the result of President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s resolve to vigorously fight corruption in the country.
The minister, who was represented by Alhaji Shehu Shinkafi, Permanent Secretary, Finance (Special Duties) in the ministry, said the fight against corruption was one of the campaign promises made to Nigerians in the buildup to the 2015 general elections.
“On assumption of office in May 2015, President Buhari set in motion; the machinery to strengthen the fight against corruption in Nigeria; with the approval granted by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on March 9, 2016; for the establishment of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA).
“The policy framework for the establishment of the Whistle Blower policy in Nigeria was also approved; by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in December 2016.
“The primary goal of the policy is to strengthen the fight against financial crimes and corruption; by revealing information on financial crimes and rewarding whistleblowers,” the minister said.
According to her, the South-West zonal conference is historic because of the importance of Lagos, which is also the hub of economic activities of the country as majority of private sector investments are domiciled in the state.
She likewise said that one of the responsibilities bestowed on PICA was the development; as well as implementation of the Federal Government Whistle Blower Policy.
Ahmed said the conference was the second on the policy; saying that the first zonal conference on the policy was held in Kano for Northwest Zone from Dec. 13 to 15, 2021.
She also added that National Conference on the Whistle Blower Policy in Nigeria was held from Sept. 28 to Sept. 30, 2020 at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja.