Nigeria’s senate president Bukola Saraki has said that the upper chamber will pass the Whistle Blower Protection Bill in July 2017.
Saraki revealed this at the launching of Senator Dino Melaye’s book titled “Antidotes for Corruption: The Nigerian Story”, on Monday in Abuja.
He said whistle-blowing would have greater value if supported by a legislation “and it is hoped that we can pass it before July this year”.
Mr. Saraki said institutions should be strengthened in the fight against corruption.
“We must fight corruption with sincerity. We must aim to go to the root of the problem. We must strengthen our institutions.
“If we work on prevention we will get to a milestone in our fight against corruption,’’ he said.
“Nigeria and Nigerians have not accepted corruption as normal; we recognize it as a problem; we are determined to make a break with our past and live by different rules.”
According to him, the reason our fight against corruption has met with rather limited success is that we appeared to have favoured punishment over deterrence.
“We must review our approaches in favour of building systems that make it a lot more difficult to carry out corrupt acts or to find a safe haven for corruption proceeds within our borders.
“In doing this, we must continue to strengthen accountability, significantly limit discretion in public spending, and promote greater openness,” he said.
Mr. Saraki said the passage of the 2017 budget by the National Assembly was the first major step in ensuring openness.
“For the first time in our political history, the budget of the National Assembly changed from a one-line item to a 34-page document that shows details of how we plan to utilize the public funds that we appropriate to ourselves.
“The people are demanding more openness, more accountability and more convictions.
“Those of us in government are also responding, joining the conversation and accepting that the basis of our legitimacy as government is our manifest accountability to the people,” he said.
A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’abba, said who was at the launch said corruption was a result of failure in leadership.
Na’abba also said that nepotism, stealing and all deviance to culture were acts of corruption, and urged stakeholders to join in the fight against the vice.
The book author, Mr. Melaye and Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said:
“My motion on Treasury Single Account (TSA) got over N7 billion recovered to government treasury.
“Ninety per cent of my Bills and Motions bothered on corruption. This is because it is the bane of our development.
“Once we get corruption right, development is imminent,” Melaye said, while thanking his colleagues, Nigerians and the media for their support.
Former first lady, Patience Jonathan and other prominent Nigerians were also at the event.