Bill for a law seeking to encourage and facilitate whistleblowing, aimed at regulating, receiving, investigating, and dealing with disclosures by whistleblowers has passed second reading at the Bauchi State House of Assembly.
The bill will also protect whistle blowers from reprisals and other related matters.
Speaker of the Assembly Rt. Hon. Abubakar Y. Suleiman who sponsored the bill during plenary on Tuesday said the bill when passed into law will complement Federal Government’s “whistle-blower” policy which encourages people with viable information on fraud, bribery, looted funds, financial misconduct, or any other form of corruption to volunteer with such information.
The Speaker explained that: “With all the efforts by the previous administrations, the menace of corruption in the country persisted, many of our national resources were looted, money was siphoned hence the need for other policies to ensure the reduction if not total elimination of corruption.
“Hon. Colleagues, it is beyond reasonable doubt that, for every country to developmentally progresses, that the country must ensure good governance through the fight against corruption which its extended reach in the country is tragically stupendous. It is pertinent to note that the government of Nigeria had noticed the effect of this menace and equally postulated that no meaningful development could be achieved in a corruption environment.”
According to him, with the introduction of TSA, Consolidated Revenues Law, Local Government Audit Bill and the desire of the present administration in Bauchi State to fight against corruption, the Legislative Arm should make a strenuous attempt to complement the effort of the government so that the State will progress.
He, therefore, urged the Honourable Members to ensure the passage of the Bill in order to help the State get rid of the challenge of corruption.
In their various contributions during the debate, the Members opined that the bill is a good one but considering the critical and controversial nature of the policy, there is the need for the Bill to be subjected to thorough and critical deliberations.
The House resolved to refer the Bill to the House Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Anti-corruption for more scrutiny and legislative processes.