By Friday Omosola
The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has lauded the Whistle-blowing policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration as one of the best policies that would encourage people to speak up and expose corruption and other unethical behaviors in the country.
Akeredolu said this at the Southwest Zonal Conference on Whistle Blower Policy in Nigeria, held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
The Governor, who was represented by the Ondo State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa said the mere presence of a well established whistle-blowing system will prevent people from engaging in any corrupt activities.
He added that the policy will reduce involvement in fraud and corruption in the country.
Akeredolu commended the courage and boldness of President Buhari for introducing the policy, stating that it takes a leader who is ready to curb corruption and fight other unlawful deeds to align with such policy.
He said: “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.”
Furthermore, he called for a collective responsibility to ensure the policy is fully established, if the country must develop and remove itself from one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
The governor let out that to complement the federal government effort in fighting corruption and other unethical conducts in the State, his administration had put in place policy toward sustaining transparency and accountability in all government transactions.
“The Ondo State Public Complaints, Financial Crime and Anti-corruption Commission Establishment Bill, which was forwarded to the State House of Assembly had 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.”
“The measure will also reduce financial crimes in the State Public Service,” he added.
He, however, advised that there must be confidentiality at every stage of the process and the identity of every whistle-blower must not be easily disclosed so that more people could volunteer to give vital information.
Governor Akeredolu called on everyone in positions of authority and other stakeholders in the country to embrace the policy in order to ensure sustainability.
He affirmed that if corruption is tackled in the country, more resources would be available for the provision of impactful programmes and projects for the people.
He urged participants at the conference to actively participate and contribute meaningfully to the various discourse.
Recall that in December 2016 the Buhari-led established Whistle-Blowing Policy as an anti-corruption programme that encourages people to voluntarily reveal information about fraud, bribery, looted government funds, financial misconduct and any other forms of corruption.