Senate to order perm sec’s arrest for embezzlement
The Senate Public Accounts Committee has threatened to issue an arrest warrant for the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health and other portfolio officials for mishandling more than $5.7 billion in donor funds from international organizations .
The chairman of the committee, Senator Matthew Urhogbide, during a committee hearing on Friday, said they had no choice but to issue a warrant for the arrest of department officials because the department is not didn’t account for the money spent.
Urhogbide lamented that the alleged mismanagement of funds has caused some donors to suspend aid due to unsatisfactory reports from health ministry agencies.
One of the donor agencies, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, an international nongovernmental organization that specializes in bringing the public and private sectors together to create equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the poorest countries of the world.
The mismanagement was exposed in the 2016 auditor general’s report currently under review.
A copy of the Auditor General’s query received by our correspondent on Tuesday noted that spending by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency between January 1, 2010 and March 31, 2015 amounted to more than $8 billion. naira, including more than 187 naira. million was not accompanied by any document.
The request reads: “The first in 2015, by a donor named Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, an international NGO specializing in bringing together the public and private sectors to create equal access to new and underutilized for children living in the poorest countries in the world.
“The NGO, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, accused the NPHCDA of mismanagement of funds released by the organization and invited my office to observe the appointment of an audit firm to carry out an extensive audit of the treasury program of the GAVI funds released to the NPHCDA from 2010 to 2015.
“Failure to follow established procedures stipulated in the Public Procurement Act 2007, in the procurement of goods, services and works valued at N4,987,958,621.00.”
He added: “Expenditure made by NPHCDA between 1 January 2010 and 31 March 2015 amounted to N8,599,291,949.00, of which N187,725,160.00 was not supported by statutory documents and relevant third parties, such as payment vouchers, receipts, invoices, delivery notes, cash receipts, contract completion certificates, etc.
“The sum of N18,804,865.00 was also flagged as ineligible expenditure as it included payments to suppliers who failed to deliver goods or services procured in accordance with the contract.
“The underfunded expenditure amounted to N619,999,383.00. This was mainly attributed to photocopied documents, inconsistencies in supporting documents, lack of contracts with suppliers and absence of evidence delivery for purchased goods. »
The chairman of the committee further said, “Despite the invitations sent to the Ministry of Health, none of them had to come and report to this committee.”
“We sent them invitations to appear without a response from the ministry, it is very regrettable. Therefore, we have no choice but to issue an arrest warrant against them. »