The Senate has vowed to begin an investigation into the alleged abuse of over $400 million donated by Global Fund to fight polio scourge in Nigeria even as it said it will also monitor the disbursement and utilization of the $1.5 million grant disbursed by the federal government to the 36 states of the federation as the first tranche of money under the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results (SOMLPforR).
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, disclosed this at a press briefing to mark the World Polio Day in Abuja yesterday.
It could be recalled that a Geneva-based Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) had indicted Nigeria for alleged misappropriation of funds meant to immunise millions of children against polio virus.
Both the Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) are implicated in the alleged fraud after an audit conducted by GAVI revealed that over $400 million disbursed for procurement of vaccines was abused.
“In this wise, my committee will ensure its statutory oversight functions of key government agencies and parastatals are conducted as at when due with a view to ensuring probity and accountability on how health-related, primary health care (PHC) services are funded and implemented.
“Additionally, we want to reassure all donors and partners of our resolve to ensure donor funds are also well spent and that they reach the masses that need them. Key funding agencies like Global Fund, GAVI and several others will be engaged by my committee to ensure mistakes of the past are avoided and that funds from these donors are used judiciously.