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THE IMPACT OF WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY IN FRAUD PREVENTION AMONG THE THREE TIERS OF GOVERNMENT IN NIGERIA

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Abstract

This study aims to explore the influence of whistleblowing policy in fraud prevention among the three tiers of government in Nigeria. To achieve this objective some research questions were raised, hypothesis were formulated and related literature to the study were reviewed. Ninety (90) copies of the questionnaire were distributed to Federal, State and Local Government institutions within Katsina State and seventy nine (79) were filled and retrieved. Data collected were presented in Tables and analyzed using the means score, while levene’s test for equality of variances was used in testing the hypotheses with the aid of SPSS. It was found that, there are significant differences in the implementation of whistle blowing among the 3 tiers of government with more implementation at the federal government and there is significant relationship between whistle blowing policy and prevention of fraud in the 3 tiers of government mainly in the federal level of government. The research recommends that, there is need for developing whistleblowing policy in the states and local governments so as to enhance efficient and smooth prevention and detection of fraud, and the policy should be unified to cover the entire tiers of government for efficient and control purposes.

1.0 Introduction

The practice of fraud is often in the form of abuse of interest or conflict of interest, corruption, bribery, illegal gratuities, kickbacks, diversion of revenues, etc. Transparency International describes the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which measures the country’s corruption rate in 2017 and based on a survey of 180 countries, Nigeria rank 148 as most corrupt country with a score of 27. (CPI, 2018). It is estimated that Nigeria may have lost over $500 billion to graft and the looting of public treasury by government officials since independence (Taiwo, 2015).

The Nigerian presidential adversary committee against corruption has said not fewer than 8000 whistleblowers were recorded by the federal government in the last one year. It was stated that the whistle-blowers policy has succeeded. The whistle-blowers were reassured that there will be an agreement to be signed with the office of attorney general  of the federation indicating that everyone is entitled to the recovery and will decide on how much money will be paid (Nwasoneye, 2018).

Federal Government, 36 states and the 774 local government councils in Nigeria shared a total sum of N5.9 trillion from the Federation Account in 2017 in spite of the economic recession witnessed during the period. The Federal Government and its agencies received a total sum of N2.5 trillion which represents 42.4% of the total money shared during the year. The other tiers of government that is states and local governments shared N3.3 trillion representing 56% of the total amount (Odunsi, 2018). In Nigeria, although the policy is novel and still undergoing the process of legislative approval, many believe that it is already yielding magnificent results. The policy is however focusing much attention on federal government, while states and local governments have been abolished, despite the fact that corruptions are the order of the day in both the states and local governments.

To interrogate that assumption and evaluate the capability of the policy to energize the current ‘war against corruption’ in Nigeria, the study raised the following research questions:

  1. What is the level of implementation of whistle-blowing policy among the three tiers of government in Nigeria?
  2. Does whistle blowing policy has any impact in fraud prevention in the three tiers of government in Nigeria?

The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of whistleblowing in fraud prevention among the three tiers of government in Nigeria. In view thereof, whistleblowing policy is the dependent variable and prevention of fraud is the independent variable. However, the specific objectives of this study are to:

  1. Test the level of implementation of whistle-blowing policy among the three tiers of government in Nigeria.
  2. Determine the impact of whistle blowing policy in fraud prevention in the three tiers of government in Nigeria.

Therefore, in order to achieve that the study intends to find out the level of implementation of the policy and also whether the whistle blowing policy has any impact in preventing fraud in the three tiers of government in Nigeria. The following hypotheses are developed to guide the conduct of this research:

HO1: There is no difference in the level of implementation of whistle blowing policy among the three tiers of governments in Nigeria.

HO2: There is no relationship between whistle blowing policy and prevention of fraud in three tiers of governments in Nigeria.

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