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N7.8 billion, $378 million recovered through whistleblower policy – FG

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The Federal Governments whistle blowing policy is yielding results as N7.8 billion, $378 million and 27,800 pounds have so far being recovered, says Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun who briefed reporters today Wednesday after he Federal Executive Council FEC meeting in Abuja.

And in order to properly handle the growing magnitude of the policy, the Federal Government according to the minister intends to institutionalize it.

“I also reported that the whistleblower team has recently come back from a trip to the Uk. The United Kingdom government was giving us trainings on whistleblowing, how we should institutionalise it. The team spent sometime with revenue office in UK. They spent sometime 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 central part of fighting corruption, giving us valuable information. Basically, whistleblowing is here to stay, giving us useful information,” she said.

On the country’s debt profile, the minister said government’s planned borrowing had reduced from 18% to about 14% and it was confident that as interest rates begin to ease, it will reduce the counry’s cost of borrowing even further.

“When we came in, what were owing was 84 per cent domestic and 16 per cent 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 more less and in a planned manner and our average borrowing has reduced from 18% to about 14%,” she added.

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