Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) has commenced monitoring activities in the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja on the proper utilisation of World Bank $225million loan released to them towards eradicating HIV/AIDS.
THISDAY checks revealed that each of the 36 states of the federation and FCT had collected a sum of $5million from NACA being part of World Bank loan released to them to fight HIV/AIDS.
Though the World Bank has extended its support on HIV/AIDS till February 2017, NACA decided to move in so as to ascertain the level of the utilisation of financial resources released to states in the country in order to gather more information on the journey so far on the war against HIV/AIDS in the 36 states of the federation.
The development, according to investigations, would also assist the NACA to strengthen its strategies at tackling various challenges that may crop up, thereby ensuring that HIV/AIDS is eradicated before the year 2030.
Confirming the development with THISDAY in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Tuesday, a consultant to NACA, Mr. John Hassan said: “We took a loan from the World Bank which is classified as a credit of $225million for the whole country and each states of the federation had $5million to implement the project.”
According to him, “It has been implemented over the last four or five years and as at last year, November 30, when the project was suppose to close and we discovered that there was still some balance left because of the good implementation, the World Bank extended to the project till February 2017.”
He said: “Again, the first supervision mission took place in 2015 not 2000. There were gaps that were identified. The essence here is not to witch-hunt or look for faults. The essence of it is to provide smooth and rapid implementation of the project till 2017 which is just some months away.
“Kwara State is doing very well. We are pleased with the performance of Kwara State. We have not had any serious problems from Kwara State but it is still important that we know where we are with the project and what we have achieved because very soon we will have implementation publisher report on the project and that is the essence why we are going round now.”
Also corroborating the visit, the Programme Officer of NACA, Mr. Ade Yusuf Ali, said: “The essence of our visit to Kwara and other states of the federation is on integrated supervisory visit and the visit is to gather data in response to HIV/AIDS in the country and Kwara State in particular and further more to identify challenges that impede the implementation of AIDS reduction activities.”
According to him, “After identifying those gaps or challenges, we now sit down and try to find solutions to those challenges to boost proposed activities especially with the extension.”
On the journey so far on the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country, the programme officer said: “Referring to when it started, the prevalence rate was very high. It was 15 per cent in some states of the federation. In Kwara State, it was 4.5 per cent before but now it has reduced to 2.3 per cent and nationwide, it is 1.8 now. This shows that there is a great reduction. By year 2030, hopefully, it will be wiped out completely.”