Design And Implementation Of Online Government Whistle Blower Management System
Corruption in Nigeria, just like in many other countries in the world, is an existential problem. Apart from the billions of dollars lost annually to corruption in the public and private sectors, almost all the social, political, ethno-cultural and religious conflicts in Nigeria can be traced to corruption in one way or another. As a tool for fighting corruption, whistle blowing has proven to be effective in many parts of the world. Within the first six months, the Whistle Blowing Policy in Nigeria, officially launched by the Federal Ministry of Finance on December 22, 2016, attracted thousands of tips, some of which led to opening of over 3,000 investigations and the recovery of several billions of naira. However, while the Minister of Information of the Buhari administration, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, applauded the gains from the policy in different forums as evident of the progress being made in the ‘war against corruption’, controversy has continued to trail the conceptual, ethical and implementation frameworks of the policy so far. This paper is an attempt to examine the theoretical foundations of the policy as well as the current application of its provisions against the ultimate objective of fighting corruption in Nigeria. The Ethical Theory of Whistle Blowing, Universal Dignity Theory of Whistle Blowing and Framing Theory were used to structure the postulations of the study. The paper argues that the policy, which is still awaiting the backing of an enabling law at the time of this study, may need to be further tweaked to speak to the issues of ethics, protection of whistle blowers and impactful communication strategies, in order to serve as a potent energizer to the ‘war against corruption’ in Nigeria. Therefore, this research work is aims at designing and implementing an online whistle blower management system to aid eradicate corruption in a secure and anonymous manner. The system aids in conveying signals or alarms on acts of corruption to relevant security agencies for immediate action. The system is built with bootstrap, css, PhP technologies.
1.1 Background of Study
Corruption, by every standard, is by far the greatest problem confronting the modern Nigerian state. Aptly described as the worst form of human violation, political or institutional corruption is believed to be mainly responsible for the decadence that pervades every strata of public life in Nigeria. From the administration of Sir Abubakar TafaBelewa at Independence till the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the menace of corruption has resisted almost every attempt to mitigate it. The slogan: ‘if you fight corruption, corruption will fight back’ is very popular among administrators and political gladiators and has always been used as an excuse or justification for acquiescence or inaction by both the government and the citizenry on the exigency of prioritizing the ‘war against corruption’ in Nigeria. Although various governments have tried in different ways and with different forms of legislation to contain the scourge of corruption, success has been slow in coming.
It is estimated that Nigeria may have lost over $500 billion to graft and the looting of public treasury by government officials since independence (Taiwo, 2015). However, while the magnitude of the money lost so far is mind boggling, especially in a country where about 70% of the citizens still live below the poverty line, what is more worrisome is that a dangerous culture of graft and impunity has evolved, threatening to destroy the future and the foundation upon which a progressive Nigerian state can be built. For the common man who is no longer able to pay the school fees of his children, get justice from the court, drink clean water, put a decent roof over his head or get the surgery that his wife badly needs to survive at the university teaching hospital, the cost of corruption is everywhere around him and continues to denigrate his existence. The decay of public institutions and the deteriorating quality of public service affects the present population of Nigerians but also diminishes the prospects of a better future for the generations ahead. While most Nigerians agree that corruption is a disease that must be eradicated for the country to move forward, there is hardly any consensus on how the battle should be fought or even how success can be measured. Almost every policy of government since independence that was designed to fight corruption has been mired in controversy or undermined by the vocal elite, and sometimes by the misguided masses that are always ready to sell their proverbial birthright for a little piece of porridge. It is against this background that the whistle blowing policy of the present administration in Nigeria attracts the attention of this study. The natural questions that must be asked are: What is different about the Federal Ministry of Finance Whistle-Blowing Program (FMF- WBP)? How does it differ from similar policies that have been tried before in Nigeria and in other jurisdictions without much success? What are the controversies surrounding the conception and implementation of the policy so far and how can they be resolved without compromising the ‘war against corruption’? How can the success of the policy be measured or sustained to energize the efforts being made by other MDAs (Ministries, Departments, agencies) and the private sector to curb corruption in Nigeria?
This research will analyze the fundamentals of the ‘Whistle Blowing Program’ of the Federal Ministry of Finance, both as an administrative tool for fighting corruption and also as a vehicle for social change in Nigeria and develop a WBMS (Whistle Blowing Management System). Specifically, the research evaluates the conceptual framework and the communication of the policy objectives against its capacity to stimulate the interest and participation of citizens in the current effort of the Buhari Administration to curb corruption and entrench good governance in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
Crime is part of human activities and needs to be managed. No human society has ever been totally free of deviants and it is unlikely that society will ever be. The more populated and complex a society becomes the wider the range of anti-social conduct that must be controlled by government using police power. The incident-based system reports on a much broader range of crimes and includes data on the circumstances of the crime, the victim, and the defendant [Allen (2002), “Meaning of Crimes”]. The current crime reporting (blowing whistle) system is faced with several difficulties as there is no instant means of reporting crime rather than telephone calls, messaging or perhaps face-to-face which is always cumbersome in a case the reporter might want to keep anonymity. To strengthen crime reporting system, an online system is enhanced to fully take the responsibility of reporting crime in a manner that will be useful to the Nigerian Police Force (NPF).
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objective of this research work is centered on the research topic itself, which is to design and implement a web based application for crime reporting where citizen can create an alarm (blow of whistle), which will be developed using the web platform tools.
The aim of WBMS (whistle blowing management system) is to assist the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) in their bid to solve crimes with timely and useful information about criminals and/or their mode of operations so as to nip in the bud criminal activities in a given locality.
Other of its objective are
- To review what has been done so far relating to this research work.
- To develop software that will receive and store crime reports.
- To make the crime records available online to facilitate distribution to different security agencies.
- To provide a deterministic crime reporting model
- To create a distributed data warehouse for crime reporting based on the model.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The enhanced data quality of the crime reporting system will be of significant benefit to federal government and as well the state, criminal justice agencies, and the public. Data from the WBMS will enhance both strategic and tactical decision making in criminal justice.
Because WBMS data will provide a more accurate picture of a community’s crime patterns, decisions regarding law enforcement, judicial, and correctional resources can be made based on empirical data. Similarly, the level of detail provided by WBMS data can assist law enforcement agencies and the community to identify crime problem.
Crime prevention strategies may then be developed and evaluated based on empirical evidence. Finally, this study will go a long way in contributing to the knowledge of police work. Besides, other researchers and students in higher institutions especially those in sociology department can derive various secondary data from this study.
1.5 Scope of the Study
This study is a research geared towards enhancing crime reporting on whistle bowing management system, investigation and correction role of the Nigeria police. In view of the scope, an online WBMS reporting application will be implemented.
1.6 Problem in Existing System
In general people in Nigeria are afraid to give a complaint in police station because they are filled with a false fear about the police department. An online whistle blower management system will solve the fear of the public and which also helps police department catching criminals and taking appropriate action
Proposed System: –
An online solution is very useful as the solution is inherently distributive. This distributive characteristic of the online solution helps in getting the different police stations to share information and get in contact with one another
A web application is to manage criminal details in a centralized database and provide solution for public to give complaint through online and get online service.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
This project was constrained by the following factors:
(a) Financial Constraints
Bearing in mind the economic state of the nation, it was found difficult in making both ends meet, because of the exorbitant nature of things nowadays in travelling for the collection of data needed for the project.
(b) Time Constraints
Looking at the interval between the resumption and vacation of the final semester for the project to be completed, the time given seemed to be short for the collection of required information for better work to be done.
(c) Non-Availability of Material
During this project, it was noticed that the required materials needed for the project are not documented. Those that were documented lacked storage facilities where they can be reached.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Refers to the technical innovations and procedures applied to the hardware and operation systems to protect against deliberate or accidental damage from a defined threat.
Is the protection of data from loss, disclosure, modification and destruction.
Refers to the power functioning of hardware and programs, appropriate physical security and safety against external threats such as eavesdropping and wiretapping.
Defines the rights of the user or organizations to determine what information they are willing to share with or accept from others and how the organization can be protected against unwelcome, unfair or excessive dissemination of information about it.
Is a special status given to sensitive information in a database to minimize the possible invasion of privacy. It is an attribute of information that characterizes its need for protection.
Is a collection of data that tells the system how to perform a particular task or operation. Or a sequential step by step process of carrying out a task instruction.
Is a set of computer components (that is, the assembling of hardware, software and peripherals to function together)
A database is a systematically arranged collection of computer data so that it can automatically retrieved of manipulated. It is also called a data bank.
An application program (or application for short) is a computer program designed to perform a group of coordinated functions, tasks, or activities for the benefit of the user.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
The research observes that the communication strategies driving the whistle blowing policy in Nigeria appears weak and poorly articulated. The framing of the campaign messages does not seem to capture the wholesomeness of the anti-corruption war and the role of whistle blowing as an enabling tool in it. The projection of monetary reward for whistle blowing and the commitment of government to pay whistle blowers may resonate with the desperate or the poor in the short run but cannot sustain public support and interest in the program over the long term. Therefore, rather than promote the policy as a business proposal (5% of total sum recovered for whistle blowers), it should be projected more as a social responsibility and a moral obligation of all citizens in order to expand its scope, inclusiveness and utility. Also in the process of this research the researcher notice that one of the reason behind the above is as a result of poor and bad means of whistle blowing, the risk involved reporting crime in this country, therefore, with the use of online whistle blowing every Nigerian citizen can report crime or blow whistle. Whistle blowing may have the capacity to serve as a tool for social re-engineering and cultural renaissance, vital for the construction of a progressive and morally strong society, but until it is firmly tied to the greater objectives of the ‘war against corruption’, the enormous potentials or benefits of the policy may never be realized in Nigeria.
The problem of corruption is not unique to Nigeria or the developing countries of the world. It is a universal menace that threatens the essence of civilization and the prospects of human progress in every part of the globe. A study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (2012), estimates that the global total fraud cost per year to organizations is $3.5 trillion. According to the study, whistle blowing ‘tips’ were the primary method of detection (43%), followed by management review (15%), and then by internal audit (14%). The major sources of whistle blowing tips were employees (51%), followed by customers (22%), and then anonymous sources (12%). This implies that value and relevance of whistle blowing as a tool for fighting fraud in all jurisdictions and in every sector of the economy cannot be over- emphasized.
There is no doubt that the whistle blowing policy in Nigeria has been helpful in uncovering corruption in both the public and private sectors since its introduction in December, 2016. Within six months from the date it was launched, the government was able to recover billions of naira stolen from the public coffers through the tips from whistle blowers. For a country that is struggling with the financial burden of revamping its economy and basic infrastructures, the magnitude of money coming from these recoveries can certainly go a long way in providing necessary assistance. However, to measure the success of the policy with the frequency of tips and the volume of funds that is being recovered from its use may be defective and short sighted, especially if the overarching objective of the policy is to further energize the ‘war against corruption’. All over the world, where the whistle blowing policy is deployed, the major reason is usually not to just recover looted funds but to foster a culture of good governance, transparency, disclosures, responsibility and intolerance to corruption. According to the Martin (2010), international, continental and regional laws recognize and prescribe the following value to the objectives of whistle blowing:
- Whistle blowing is a key instrument in the fight against corruption and other unlawful conduct in both the private and public arena as it promotes a culture of openness and transparency.
- It is fundamentally linked to ensuring transparency and political accountability in relation to the use and management of public and private resources and property.
While acknowledging its potentials and appreciating the modest achievements of the whistle blowing policy in Nigeria within a very short time frame, the cost of corruption should be placed beside the request for citizens to blow the whistle so that more individuals and stakeholders, including political, social, cultural, religious and business organizations can find the moral justification to participate in the program or join in the campaign. Without addressing the moral question, the policy may still be helpful in the recovery of stolen funds, but may fail to curb unethical behaviors which fuel misconduct and various forms of corruption. This is probably because the lust for the ‘bounty’ could raise an army of self-serving individuals more committed to their pockets than to public good. In fact, it is likely that whistle blowing without a moral cause will create a second level of corruption that may further complicate or deepen the problem of graft in the society.
Societies all over the world expand and develop continuously, as such human relationship and activities also expands. The results of dynamism of the growing population give room for crime. These societies therefore strive to establish and develop institutions that can ensure peace as well as security of lives and property of its citizenry. Therefore, the research wish to encourage and advice all its Nigerian citizen to be part of the great change in fighting corruption in our country Nigeria. Also the researcher wish that this project will be implemented and use by all security agencies so as to enhance their work against corruption in our nation.
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