The Nigerian government recently reported that its two-months-old whistleblower program has already recovered over $176 million. While these numbers are skewed due to a single recovery of over $136 million, the yields are still quite impressive. Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed was not shy on confidence when describing the early returns of the program:
When we told Nigerians that there was a primitive and mindless looting of the national treasury under the last administration, some people called us liars. Well, the whistle-blower policy is barely two months old and Nigerians have started feeling its impact, seeing how a few people squirrelled away public funds. It is doubtful if any economy in the world will not feel the impact of such mind-boggling looting of the treasury as was experienced in Nigeria.
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 will soon follow Nigeria’s lead, as many countries do not have any formal whistleblower award programs at all.
What do you think? Will Other Countries Duplicate Nigeria’s Whistleblower Program?
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