A non-governmental organisation, Projekthope has alleged that fraudulent practices from the National AIDS Control Agency (NACA) constitute reasons why the Global Fund suspended its grant on HIV/AIDS intervention in Nigeria.
In a release, Projekthope Coordinator, Steve Aborisade fingered NACA for incompetence, fraud and mismanagement, adding: “Global Fund had written to President Muhammadu Buhari to have a look at what is happening at NACA.
“Despite the efforts made by the Secretariat and with over $800 million disbursed to the country in the past four years, major deficiencies in the internal control environment persist in the portfolio.’’
Aborisade further noted that the fate of 3.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria now hangs in the balance.
“For instance, NACA was among organisations accused of making a US$20 million to suppliers without confirmation of delivery under the procurement of health and non-health commodities, which represented one of the risks to the Nigerian portfolio. There is also a US$3.7 million in differences for antiretroviral drugs,” he added.
According to him, out of 1.8million people living with HIV/AIDS who require treatment, only about 750, 000 get the support of the Global Fund and other partners.
The reason, he said, was because HIV/AIDS in Nigeria was funded mainly by donor money, saying that this accounts for over 90 percent of funds available for the intervention in the country.
Aborisade said that the agency could not control the distribution of health commodities for HIV and malaria programmes, thereby resulting in stock-outs at all 42 health facilities visited by the Fund’s Office of Inspector General for periods of eight months.
The coordinator requested for the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 to enable his organisation keep a tab on the agency.
“Our FOI request is pursuant to the FOI Act 2011 which will enable us to initiate an independent effort to ensure justice is served,” Aborisade noted.
By: Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha and Wale Adepoju
The Nation News