Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN has described the Whistle-blowing policy of the Buhari administration in Nigeria as one of the best policies that would encourage people to speak up and expose corruption and other unethical behaviors.
Governor Akeredolu stated this at the Southwest Zonal Conference on Whistle Blower Policy in Nigeria, Organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium Secretariat Alausa, Ikeja Lagos State.
The Governor, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa, noted that the mere presence of a well established Whistle-blowing system would be enough to put people off from engaging in any illegitimate activity, thereby significantly reducing cases of fraud and corruption in the Country.
While commending the courage and boldness of Mr President for introducing the policy, the Governor noted that it takes a leader who is ready to curb corruption and fight other unlawful deeds to align with such policy.
“it will be recalled that fighting corruption was part of the cardinal programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari during his electioneering and he is standing by it till date. No wonder, he has been acknowledged as an anti-corruption crusader all over the world.”
” it is gratifying to note that this is the first time, since independence, that this type of policy would be introduced in Nigeria. It is, therefore, our collective responsibility to ensure that the policy is fully established, if we must develop as a country and remove the unwanted tag of being referred to as one of the most corrupt countries on earth” he stated.
The Governor explained that to complement the federal government effort in fighting corruption and other unethical conducts in the State, his administration has put in place measures toward sustaining transparency and accountability in all government transactions.
According to Arakunrin Akeredolu, the Ondo State Public Complaints, Financial Crime and Anti-corruption Commission Establishment Bill, which was forwarded to the State House of Assembly has since been passed into Law.
“The Law aims to checkmate corruption, promote probity and accountability in the conduct of government business. When it becomes fully operational in our State, it will promote public awareness on the ills of corruption in all ramifications in our society. It will also reduce financial crimes in the State Public Service, ” he explained.
He, however, advised that there must be confidentiality at every stage of the process and the identity of the Whistle-blower must not be easily disclosed so that more people can volunteer information.
The Governor, therefore, called on the everyone in position of authority and other stakeholders in the country to embrace the policy and ensure its sustainability.
Arakunrin Akeredolu, who observed that when corruption is minimised in the country, more resources would be available for the provision of impactful programs and projects for the people. He therefore, enjoined participants at the Conference to actively participate and contribute meaningfully to the various discourse.
It will be recall that the Whistle-Blowing Policy was established in December 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration as an anti-corruption programme that encourages people to voluntarily disclose information about fraud, bribery, looted government funds, financial misconduct and any other forms of corruption or theft.
Ministry of Finance.