Senate moves to protect whistleblowers, decries poor funding of Christian pilgrims commission

Senator Abiodun Olujimi

Senator Abiodun Olujimi

The Senate has approved further consideration of a bill seeking protection of persons making disclosures in public interest, otherwise known as whistleblowers.

During the debate that preceded the approval for second reading yesterday, the sponsor of the bill titled, “A Bill for an Act to Protect Persons Making Disclosures for Public Interest and Others from Reprisals, 2016 (SB.158),” Senator Abiodun Olujimi, PDP Ekiti South, said when passed into law, the bill seeks to protect persons making disclosures in public interest from reprisals. It would also provide for the matters disclosed to be properly investigated and dealt with and for other purposes related therewith.

According to Olujimi, “The level of profligacy in the public sector as exposed by one Mr. Nicholas Edwards, a staff member of the Ministry of Aviation has brought to the fore the importance of whistle-blowers in Nigeria. Mr. Edwards was not only fired but has been on the run since the report got to the public domain.”

“In August 2011 a staff member of the National Women Development Centre, Abuja was dismissed from service for exposing the embezzlement by top officials of the N300 million allocated for poverty alleviation programme,” she explained.

In another development, the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday paid an oversight visit to Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) in Abuja, during which it decried the allocation of N54 million to the commission in the 2016 budget.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Reverend Tor Uja, had told the committee that it was financially constrained as a result of poor funding.

Responding, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, assured the NCPC of Senate’s readiness to address the issue in the 2017 budget proposal when forwarded to the National Assembly.

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