Fed Govt Orders Probe Of Alleged Misuse Of AIDS Fund

Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole
Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole

As part of the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s resolve to install probity and accountability in governance, the president has directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate allegations that officials of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA and the National Malaria Elimination Programme, NMEP, mismanaged grants from the Global Fund for the fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Two high-powered committees have also been set up to investigate programmes under the fund and all financial transactions carried out by the two agencies between 2014 and now during which the international funding organization disbursed over $1.1 billion to them.

The first panel, headed by the health minister, Professor Isaac Adewole, will review all the programmes under the fund and make recommendations to the government within the next four weeks.

The second panel is headed by the Auditor General of the Federation, Samuel Ukura, will review all financial transactions within the period.

A statement by the minister of health, which gave details of the government’s decision, also stated that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, had been ordered to review previous audit reports on the use of donor funds in the fight against HIV/AIDS and Malaria.

Adewole added that all officials involved would be given fair hearing while those found culpable in the scandal would receive appropriate sanctions.






     

     

    The www.icirnigeria.org had in a report published on Sunday, disclosed the suspension of the disbursement of the grant by Global Fund, after the Geneva – based donor agency said an audit report on the grants showed evidence of massive fraud perpetrated by officials of recipient agencies..

    Global Fund has committed more than $1.4 billion to the fight against HIV/AIDS and malaria in Nigeria since 2003, with over $800 million disbursed between 2012 and 2016-making it the largest donor in the campaign to end AIDS scourge and malaria.

    In a country where government’s contribution to the campaign is less than 10 percent, suspension of donor funds would spell doom for the campaign to end the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria in the country.

    Not less than 3.4 million Nigerians are said to be leaving with HIV in the country but only 750,000 are able to access anti-retroviral therapy due to insufficient funds.

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