Question of the Week -- Should other countries duplicate Nigeria’s whistleblower program?
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team
The Nigerian government disclosed that it has paid awards to more than 20 whistleblowers since the anti-corruption program was enacted in December 2016. Kemi Adeosun, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, released the numbers in response to allegations that Nigeria has not been paying whistleblower awards. Adeosun did not disclose how much has been paid to whistleblowers, but assured that awards will be paid in full. She indicated several payments to whistleblowers are still being processed, “the procedures were designed to prevent abuse and legal disputes and to ensure protection of the information providers.”
According to the language of Nigeria’s policy, a whistleblower that provides the government with non-public information leading to a successful recovery may be entitled to between 2.5 and 5 percent of the amount recovered. By comparison, the United States’ more established whistleblower programs typically offer a much more generous bounty structure. For instance, the False Claims Act, along with the SEC, IRS, and Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Programs all entitle a whistleblower to receive up to 30 percent of a successful recovery. Yet the modest bounty percentage has not stopped Nigeria’s program from a notably successful start. This success warrants the question of whether other countries should follow Nigeria’s lead, as many countries do not have any formal whistleblower award programs at all.
What do you think? Should other countries duplicate Nigeria’s whistleblower program?
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