Senate alleges health ministry officials mismanaged N5.7b donor funds

Senate has alleged Ministry of Health officials mismanaged over N5.7 billion donor funds.

This reportedly led to concerned donor agencies withholding further assistance, following unsatisfactory reports from the ministry.

Chairman, Senate Public Accounts Committee, Matthew Urhoghide, expressed dissatisfaction over failure of the permanent secretary of the ministry and other officials to account for the funds.

It was gathered that four invitations were sent to the ministry, which were not honoured.

One of the agencies is Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), an international body that brings together public and private sector players and creates equal access to new and under-used vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.

The revelation came on the heels of a 2016 Auditor General’s Report under consideration.

The chairman, while reacting to the failure of the ministry to account for the money, said the committee is left with no other option but to issue a warrant for the officials’ arrest.

He said: “The Ministry of Health has consistently refused to come and give account before this committee.”

The query reads: “Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, accused National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) of mismanagement of funds released by the organisation and invited my office to observe the appointment of an audit firm to carry out extended cash programme audit of GAVI funds released to NPHCDA from 2010 to 2015.

“Non-adherence to laid down procedures stipulated in Public Procurement Act 2007 in the procurement of goods, services and works valued at N4,987,958,621.00.”

“Expenditures made by the NPHCDA between January 1, 2010 and March 31, 2015 amounted to N8,599,291,949.00, out of which N187,725,160.00 was not supported with relevant statutory and third party documents, such as payment vouchers, receipts, invoices, delivery notes, store receipt vouchers, contract completion certificates, etc.

“The sum of N18,804,865.00 was also reported to be ineligible expenditures, as it comprised payments to suppliers who did not deliver the procured goods or services as per contract.

“Inadequately supported expenditure amounted to N619,999,383.00. This was mostly attributed to photocopied documents, inconsistencies in supporting documents, lack of contracts with suppliers and lack of evidence of delivery for procured goods.”

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