Whistle Blowing: FG Recovers N21.6bn, $378m, £27,800 From Tax Evaders, Others

The Federal Government, on Sunday, said its whistle blower policy is yielding the desired result, especially in the area of tax evasion, rather than just fraud, following which it intends to intensify efforts ahead of June 30 end of the three-month extension granted under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).
A statement on Sunday quoted the Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, as saying the whistleblower policy fetched a total of N7.8bn; while N13.8bn came specifically from tip-offs on companies which underpaid their taxes.
The statement by Oluyinka Akintunde, Special Adviser, Media & Communications to the Minister, said this is quite significant, given that most of the whistleblowing in the past was about stolen money. Such information, he said is followed with establishing contact with the company.
He noted that the whistleblowers, who provided specific company information would receive the agreed 5% incentive, adding that “for the first time, we are paying N439,276,099.86 to about 14 whistleblowers who gave us specific tips on tax evaders.”
Continuing, the statement assured that “with the extension of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), we are getting more tips on tax evasion which of course is a crime against us all.
“This is just the new trend that we are seeing and we thought it is worth bringing to your attention. The whistleblowers on tax evasion are being paid this month (May 2018); this is the first time we have had such numbers where we have been able to conclude either investigation or communication with the companies.
“The companies have actually paid the money to the Federal Inland Revenue Service. We are paying these whistle blowers their rewards,” the Ministry added, stressing that its Whistleblower Unit recently returned from a study tour of various UK agencies like the Serious Fraud Office, the Commonwealth Secretariat, Her Majesty Revenue and Customs and the Financial Control Authority, among others, on invitation from the UK Government.
“The team was given a lot of tips and insights on how they operate whistleblowing in the UK. One of the things we are going to do is revise some of our policies and practices based on what we have learnt.”