The Lagos State government yesterday unveiled a Whistle Blower scheme as part of measures to avail the public and especially staff of the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) the chance to report any wrongdoing, or fraud.

The Commissioner of Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, who launched the scheme yesterday, said the event was the culmination of about three and half years of efforts of the state government in its pursuit to ensure open governance. Lagos is the only state so far to launch such a scheme after that of the Federal Government in December 2016.

Olowo, who spoke after the opening remarks by the Executive Chairman of LIRS, Ayodele Subair, said the Whistle Blower initiative, among others, is a process for people to effectively discharge the policies of the government, promote citizens engagement and discharge the primary purpose of governance, adding that the scheme represents a channel for the staff to report illegal behaviour.

He said the scheme is an initiative of the Lagos State government, saying LIRS has “been chosen for this pilot scheme.”

Olowo said LIRS generates 75 percent of Lagos revenue, adding that “ it is only proper to use LIRS as a pilot MDA (Ministries, Departments, and Agencies).

He said: “People observe wrong doings and people are left with no option but to speak or complain. This is one channel being provided for people to engage and to speak about these incidences of misbehaviours and misdemeanors, or follow up on any negative stance. When people come up with any complaints, there will be no reprisals, Olowo assured.

He said the scheme will benefit the state as it would prevent fraud, check the culture of rascality and raise awareness of stakeholders regarding their responsibilities in tax collection and management.

He said the scheme will cut losses to the barest minimum and “give a voice to our stakeholders., and the opportunity to come up with reports.”