The Federal Government is in receipt of no fewer
than 400,000 telephone short messages from
whistleblowers on looted funds, Information and
Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, said yesterday.
Mohammed told The Nation on Saturday that
contrary to speculations that the Whistleblowers
Policy might be on the wane, it is thriving quietly
and the “discreet but vigorous support from
Nigerians” can ensure eventual return of more
billions of looted funds.
He said Federal Government’s optimism rests on
Nigerians’ massive embrace of the policy.
A web portal, http://whistle.finance.gov.ng, has
been launched by the Whistleblower Unit (WBU), a
multi-agency team, resident in Federal Ministry of
Finance Headquarters for the recording of
information on violation of financial regulations,
mismanagement of public funds and assets,
financial malpractice or fraud and theft that is
deemed to be in the interest of the public.
Giving a breakdown of citizens’ preferred means of communicating tips on the existence of looted
funds, Alhaji Mohammed advised more Nigerians
to “take advantage of the Federal Government’s
Whistleblower Policy even though it is clear that
people’s interest is being sustained.
”As of 21st September this year, we had received a number of communication totaling 2940 and this
includes enquiries , tips, compliments and general
advice from the public.
”We have received, through our Whistleblower
website, 208 enquiries , and 1580 telephone calls.
Government, he added, has recently received 35
classified tips and another set of 546 unclassified
”We have received 79 tips through telephone calls;
413, 213 through SMS and 145 through our
”Through e-mails, we received 109,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed also said that after distillation
processes by various finance, security, legal and
law enforcement teams indicate that of all the tips
received and reviewed, 321 are poised to yield
”From all the tips received and reviewed, only 321
have been deemed to be actionable. These are tips that can be worked upon for further action,” he stated.
However, he said that he could not give specific
information on any amount involved and payments
made to whistleblowers thus far.
Mohammed said in February that the policy had
yielded $151million and N8billion in looted funds.
He said at that time that the looted funds were
recovered via the clues provided by three
whistleblowers who gave actionable information to the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-
General of the Federation.
The biggest amount of $136,676,600.51 was
recovered from an account in a commercial bank,
where the money was kept under an apparently
fake account name.
This was followed by the recovery of N7 billion and $15 million from another person and 1 billion Naira
from yet another.
This is besides the $9.2 million in cash traced to a
former Group Managing Director of the NNPC. In
all,over $160million had been recovered in
Later in June,the Federal Ministry of Finance said it had paid N375.8 million to 20 providers of
information under the Whistleblower Policy.
The payment, according to the ministry ,was in
respect of recovered assets that had been declared
free of legal disputes or litigation by the Attorney-
General of the Federation.
”This payment, which is the first under the
Whistleblower Policy, underscores the commitment
of the President Muhmmadu Buhari-led
administration in meeting obligations to information
providers under the Whistleblower Policy,” the
ministry said in a statement.
The Whistleblower Policy was recently amended to include the introduction of a formal legal agreement
between information providers and the Federal
The amendment is aimed at ensuring the protection
of the identity of information providers during the
The Whistleblower Unit (WBU) is the first line of
response to whistleblower information, where initial
review is undertaken before cases are forwarded to the relevant investigative agencies.