Participants at a National Summit on Whistleblowing have blamed the Federal Government, the National Assembly, states and anti-graft agencies for failure to curb corruption in Nigeria.
This was contained in a communique made available to The NEXT EDITION on Friday.
The summit, which was organised by the African Centre for Media and Information (ACMI), in collaboration with the House of Representatives, took place at Rockview Hotel, Abuja.
Other collaborators were Socio-Economic Rights & Accountability Project (Serap), and the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIF).
The programme, which featured paper presentations by anti-corruption experts, was attended by 80 participants drawn from the media, anti-corruption bodies, government agencies and civil society groups.
Pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, chaired the summit, while Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, presented the keynote address.
In a communique, participants said Nigeria has failed to create mechanisms to account for the revenues from extractive industry which constitute about 85 percent of the country’s revenue.
While participants said the whistle-blower policy was a promising tool capable of enhancing citizens’ involvement in the anti-graft war, they, however, lamented the lack of a legal framework to protect whistleblowers.
The summit said the delay in the passage of the whistle-blower protection bill by the National Assembly along with other major anti-corruption bills were major threats to current anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria.
Part of the communique reads, “That the delay on the part of the Federal Government in constituting the Boards of parastatals and MDAs, including some anticorruption agencies, in the past two years, is hampering the fight against corruption.
“That states and local governments across the country have not shown sufficient interest and support for the anti-corruption stance of the current administration by not replicating key policies in this regard.
“That there is no uniformity of purpose in the fight against corruption by the ruling political party and among key government officials.
“That there is no coordination in the fight against corruption among the various anti-corruption and security agencies.
“That from independence to date, Nigeria has failed to put in place mechanisms that enable the country to adequately account for the revenues from extractive industry which constitute about 85 percent of the country’s revenue.”
“That civil society groups are not adequately involved in the implementation of whistleblower policy, which makes it difficult to optimize citizen’s involvement.”
The summit said the private sector was yet to take advantage of the whistleblower policy and that whistle-blowers have become victims of their own patriotic acts because of government’s delay in rewarding them and protecting them against punitive actions.
It, therefore, advised the government to urgently finalise a law to protect whistleblowers and their relations in order to bolster public confidence and support for the policy.
It also called for the setting up of an independent governance structure comprising representatives of anticorruption agencies and credible civil society organisations in the country.
The summit also called on states, local governments and the private sector to address the grand and retail corruption at their levels through the whistle-blowers policy.