The Anti-corruption Unit, Kaduna State Ministry of Justice has organised a one-day sensitisation exercise for heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on Tip-offs Anonymous whistleblowing concept.
The exercise is designed to expose the participants to the discrete whistleblowing tips aimed at promoting accountability and effective service delivery in public service.
Hajiya Aisha Dikko, the state’s Commissioner for Justice, stated this at the inauguration of the training exercise on Wednesday in Kaduna.
Dikko said the essence of the training was to acquaint participants with the new concept on the policy of whistleblowing to ensure confidentiality.
She noted that the initiative provided an independent body that would protect the identity of the person making any report.
Dikko said: “The state government engaged Deloitte, a renowned and independent firm, to create a fair playing ground between the one making the report and the individual or the organisation the report is being made against.
“The idea is to provide a platform where anyone in the case where there are infractions could make reports and be rest assured for fear of intimidation from a third party.”
The Commissioner, however, cautioned that the state whistleblower law was still in place, explaining that the law provided punitive sanction against anyone who gave malicious or false information.
“If anyone makes any report, it would be subjected to thorough investigations before necessary steps are taken,” she added.
Also speaking, Mr. Abayomi Aina, Manager, Deloitte Risk Advisory, said that Deloitte Tip-offs Anonymous (TOA) training provided opportunity for an individual to make report of any wrong doing without the identity of the person being exposed.
Aina explained that the concept would allow reporters to raise concerns about fraud, wrongdoings and misconduct to the relevant authorities.
“Such concerns could relate to issues around asset mismanagement; harassment, forgery, maltreatment and expenses claim abuse amongst others.
“This is necessary as it would safeguard the state’s reputation, encourage a speak up culture – the culture of transparency and helps you to secure your job.
“Employees have been afraid of indisposed whistleblowing because of fear of victimisation, lack of anonymity confidentiality, management inaction, lack of incentive and covering for connected persons,” he said.
Aina added that Deloitte platform was independently managed with multiple reporting channels, stressing that the company operates globally with multilingual handlers.
“The firm does not have access to the complainer, and calls are configured in a manner that it cannot access the identity or location of the individual making a report.
“The levels of anonymity include: completely anonymous, partially anonymous and confidential anonymous levels.
“Reporters should take precaution, remain discrete in providing all available information on the case concerned.”
Zaid Abubakar and Umma Yusuf-Aboki, some of the participants, described the initiative as a welcome development, adding that it would strengthen the state’s institutions for effective service delivery.
“The Government wants to ensure that the public service is well up and doing by responding to the needs of the public,” Abubakar said.
Yusuf-Aboki added that: “let the people be accountable over wrong doings in the government. I am confident with the reputation of Deloitte as it is an internationally recognised firm.”