Wednesday, 21 March 2018

FG Recovers N9.12bn Through Whistleblowing Policy - Adeosun Reveals

The Federal Government has recovered N7.8 billion, $378 million and 27,800 pounds through its whistleblower policy. The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said this on Wednesday while briefing State House correspondents after the cabinet meeting.

She said that the government intended to institutionalize the whistleblower policy with a view to properly handling its increasing magnitude. 
She said she also updated the council on the numbers of tips received, investigations dealt with and the types of monies recovered through the policy.

"I also reported that the whistleblower team has recently come back from a trip to the Uk. The United Kingdom government was giving us training on whistleblowing, how we should institutionalise it. The team spent some time with revenue office in the UK. They spent some time in customs office and they took them through what they have been able to do."

"I will be bringing the memo to the council. One of the things it has achieved is prevention. When they get the tips, they use it to block avenues for leakage. We have had a significant number tips. So, we will be coming back to institutionalise whistleblowing as a structure. It has become a central part of fighting corruption, giving us valuable information. Basically, whistleblowing is here to stay, giving us useful information," she said.

She said the FEC approved a three-year debt strategy to reduce Nigeria's reliance on short-time borrowing particularly treasury bills, 91 days treasury bills, "costing us 21% and moving from domestic borrowing into external borrowing. 

"When we came in, what we were owing was 84 percent domestic and 16 percent external borrowing. We have moved to 77:23 as a result of Eurobonds that we have done and refinancing of maturing obligations. Our terms of maturity was 7.15. We have now extended it to 11.25. That gives a little bit of room to allow the investment we have made in capital projects to filter into our tax system and allows us to manage the debt." 

"What that means is reducing our cost of funds and reducing our interest cost because the cost of borrowing is much less and in a planned manner and our average borrowing has reduced from 18% to about 14%. We are confident that as interest rates begin to ease, we will reduce our cost of borrowing even further."

The minister put the total capital budget released so far for 2017 at N1.248 trillion.

"l gave details of the big four areas and then others. So, Power, Works and Housing got N301.89 billion, defence 151.2 billion, Agriculture N119.9 bn, Transport N127.9 billion and other areas combined is N547.6 billion.

"We haven't closed yet. We are confident we will close the year roughly around where we closed last year. We will close around N1.3 trillion mark. So, our commitment to infrastructure spending remains very strong. That is what is going to drive the growth of the economy. That is what is going to drive jobs," she added.

Adeosun also disclosed that the government saved N68 billion on personnel cost in 2017, saying this brought the aggregate savings on personnel cost since 2007 to N288 billion. 

The minister said the savings would have gone unaccounted for, assuring that they would be spent on capital projects.
Adeosun noted that the savings were made despite the rise in personnel, including the employment of 10,000 by the Nigerian Police. 

She said 511 ministries, departments and agencies had been captured under the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information, with a staff count of 607,843.

"As at 20th March 2018, the number of MDAs on IPPIS Payroll is 469 with 316,158 Staff Count with a gross salary of N43,979,383,997.78 and 42 Police Commands and Formations paid on IPPIS Platform in February 2018 with Staff Count of 291,685 and gross salary of N22,276,669,257.21.

"Staff of Para-Military Agencies (Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Prison Service and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps) enrolled to date is 100,822 for which a trial payroll of N11,456,278,859.00 have been sent for review and update for April 2018 payroll," Adeosun said.

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