Lagos Launches Whistleblower Initiative With LIRS As Pilot
The Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, recently unveiled the initiative at the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) in Alausa, Ikeja, describing the initiative as a speak-up platform designed to abolish the culture of keeping silent in the face of all illicit behaviour such as fraud and misconduct, as well as enhancing accountability while promoting a positive image of the government.
Olowo said: “The initiative, designed to encourage reporting illegal actions and tackling fraud, is in line with our determination to uphold accountability, transparency and purposeful policy delivery, including prevention of financial losses, avoiding incidence of fraud and reputational damage premised on getting good governance to our people”.
Speaking on the choice of LIRS as a pilot Agency, Dr. Olowo asserted that Lagos State Internal Revenue Service was chosen to kickstart the initiative in order to achieve a transparent, accountable, confidential and protective whistleblowing framework.
While canvassing public acceptance for the whistleblowing platform and the need to value it as a civic duty, the Commissioner maintained that ‘Whistleblowing’ is an acceptable corporate and social behaviour that must be embraced by all.
In his contribution, the Honourable Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Samuel Egube, applauded Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for approving the take-off of the ‘Speak Out’ initiative, saying that the gesture shows that Mr. Governor wants his administration to be open to public scrutiny and interrogation.
On his part, the Executive Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), Mr. Ayodele Subair, explained that the ‘Deloitte Tip-Offs Anonymous’ initiative is in tandem with the Agency’s continuous drive to ensure that its responsibilities to the State are carried out efficiently and effectively.
The Chairman pledged the Agency’s unflinching commitment to the highest standards of transparency, integrity and accountability in its dealings and interactions with relevant stakeholders.
Subair averred that the initiative is expected to promote an enabling environment for employees and other relevant stakeholders to report wrongdoings, illegal actions or financial crimes noticed and/or observed in LIRS’ administrative and operational activities, without fear of backlash.
“The Facility is designed to ensure that concern about wrongdoing or malpractice within the Agency can be raised by any stakeholder without fear of victimisation, subsequent discrimination, disadvantage or dismissal”, he stated.
Also speaking, Mr. Biola Adeoye, the Managing Director of Deloitte Tip-offs Anonymous, described the concept as an act of drawing the attention of relevant authorities to perceived wrongdoing, misconduct and unethical activity within public, private or third-sector organisations.
Adeoye stated that the level of anonymity under the initiative is a hundred percent and that Lagosians should embrace the initiative, stressing that the confidentiality of the users of the platform is independently managed.
According to him, gone are the days when members of the public cover-up wrongdoings and unfair treatment under the fear of victimisation.
The event also had in attendance the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi; the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, represented by Saheed Quadri, and Honourable Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Engr. Olalere Odusote among others.