Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun has said the Federal Government’s whistleblower policy has been largely successful.
Adeosun said this on Tuesday while speaking at the IMF Spring Meetings in Washington D.C.
The minister urged African governments and the international communities to collaborate in order to check illicit financial flows (IFFs).
“The government is focused on resetting the Nigerian economy. To improve non-oil revenues, we have to address illicit capital flows. When stolen money is transferred from Nigeria or other African countries, there are too few questions asked by those countries that receive the funds. But when we identify those funds as stolen and seek to recover them, there are too many questions being asked,” she said.
Adeosun added that a lot of funds are sitting in foreign banks which government has spent over a decade trying to recover.
“That is money that could deliver significant value for Nigeria as we seek to increase spending on critical infrastructure and establish a basis for long term sustainable growth. I hope that the Automatic Exchange of Information scheme coming into force next year will be a step towards achieving greater transparency,” she said.
“We need more collaboration among parliamentarians in Africa, and across the World to ensure that this situation improves and that recipient countries are held to account.”
The minister added, “We are going after those who have stolen our money. We have put in place a very successful whistleblower programme that is delivering results, and allows those who report illicit activity to receive up to five per cent of any funds that we recover. We are also significantly improving our financial management controls to ensure that it is considerably more difficult for public funds to be diverted. We have to do more though”.
“That means collaboration with the legislature. We need tighter tax and financial reporting legislation and to ratify bilateral agreements so that our enforcement agencies are empowered to deliver the results that we need.”