" ITREALMS: Coalition commends Buhari for transmission of Whistleblower Protection Bill to NASS for passage - ITREALMS

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Coalition commends Buhari for transmission of Whistleblower Protection Bill to NASS for passage - ITREALMS

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The Whistleblowing Advocacy Coalition (WAC) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for transmitting the draft whistleblower protection bill approved by the Federal Executive Council last December to the National Assembly for further consideration and passage before the end of this administration.
Coalition commends Buhari for transmission of Whistleblower Protection Bill to NASS for passage - ITREALMS
The coalition notes that a whistleblowing protection law for Nigeria is long overdue, being a conversation that has been on among different interest groups over the last two decades, and more importantly given that the whistleblowing policy which has been in operation for more than six years is not backed by a legal framework that should strengthen implementation and boost citizen confidence.

Thus, the president’s decision to send the bill to the National Assembly for passage is a huge affirmation of his commitment to making whistleblowing an important mechanism for fighting corruption and wrongdoing, as well as for doing away with the culture of silence that has been the citizens’ traditional way of life.

We salute Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the vice president, who presided over the cabinet meeting at which the draft bill was approved, for his unbounded thoughtfulness for the needs of the people for a law that would improve their lives and society at large. According to the vice president, “the whistleblowing law is one important piece of legislation that Nigerians have long been waiting for.”

The coalition also acknowledges the significant role played by Dr. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the whistleblowing unit, the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), that worked with stakeholders, including civil society organisations, to ensure that a new whistleblower protection bill was drafted and presented to FEC for approval and adoption as an executive bill.

The importance of protection for citizens facing retaliation for blowing the whistle for the good of society cannot be overemphasized. Almost daily, workers who show the courage to report fraud and other wrongdoing in their workplaces are subjected to all kinds of punishment, including suspension without pay, withholding of salary, denial of promotion, outright dismissal, threats, and intimidation which hint at physical harm or even death in some cases.

Therefore, we believe that more than any other time, a piece of legislation that ensures effective protection for whistleblowers is urgently needed as a means of encouraging citizen participation in whistleblowing as an effective mechanism for fighting corruption. The only way Nigerians can be motivated to blow the whistle is when they know there is a law that fully protects them from retaliation.

Now that the whistleblower protection bill is before the National Assembly, we are calling on the lawmakers to respond positively to the president’s gesture by giving the bill the urgent treatment it deserves, so that the president can sign it into law and cap his tenure which ends May 29, 2023, with a fitting legacy of bequeathing to Nigerians one of the most critical instruments for achieving transparency, accountability and good governance in the country.

Signed African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
Progressive Impact Organisation for Community Development (PRIMORG)
HEDA Resource Centre
Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID)
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action)
Order Paper Advocacy Initiative (Order Paper)
International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)
Amnesty International
CLEEN Foundation
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)
Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)
Centre for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch (CeFTIW)
Accountability Lab Nigeria
Connected Development (CODE)
TAP Initiative
Civic Media Lab
Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED)
Human Rights Observatory

Chido Onumah


African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)

www.africmil.org; https://corruptionanonymous.org n

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