- FG to refund N6.4bn to donor agencies
Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
An audit firm, KPMG, has been appointed to audit the finances of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in order to increase donor confidence as Nigeria seeks donor support to fund immunisation.
This came as the agency met in Abuja yesterday with donors and development partners – the World Bank, World Health Organisation (WHO), Rotary, UNICEF, fund agencies from US, Canada and Japan – to ask for increased contributions to help Nigeria pay for immunisation.
At the meeting, the NPHCDA Executive Director, Faisal Shuaib, said, “KPMG will work at our finance management system to close all loopholes and put in place strategies that make it difficult for people to line their pockets with public funds.
“In the last two to three years, there’s this cloud of corruption and distrust of NPHCDA. It is an open secret. Donors are worried they are not sure what’s happening with NPHCDA. What we are doing is build back that trust.”
He noted that the donor confidence in Nigeria’s health finance swayed after a prolonged investigation found billions of naira from global fund was misappropriated.
Shuaib said the 2017 budget allocates refunds – including N4.8 billion to global fund and N1.6 billion to the global alliance for vaccine, which will withdraw its support from Nigeria by 2020, leaving the country solely responsible for its immunisation.
Also speaking, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said the funding needed for immunisation would more than quadruple by 2026 – from $85 million to $378 million nearly eight million children born each year.
Adewole said part of the current immunisation funding comes from the World Bank, with Nigeria unable to meet full requirements for vaccines.
“To ensure that there are no stockouts, you need to budget two years ahead,” said Adewole.
“It is not like running to the shop for a pair of shoes.
“We are not owning it. If tomorrow the World Bank funds disappear, the whole thing will collapse,” warned Ben Anyene of the Immunisation Financing Taskforce.
“We are covering immunisation because World Bank is bringing money. What if that money is not there,” he said.