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Global Fund says no fraud in Nigeria’s HIV fund management

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze (Abuja) and Silver Nwokoro (Lagos)
15 September 2022   |   2:59 am
The Global Fund to Fight Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AID), Tuberculosis and Malaria has denied any misappropriation or fraud in the fund it made available for managing Human Immunodeficiency Virus

HIV positive. Photo Shutterstock

FG approves commercial production of vaccines
• MTN donates 604,800 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Global Fund to Fight Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AID), Tuberculosis and Malaria has denied any misappropriation or fraud in the fund it made available for managing Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) treatment and prevention activities in Nigeria.

The clarification was made by the Global Fund Portfolio Manager for Nigeria, Dr. Jean-Thomas Nouboussi, who reacted to media enquiries regarding allegations of fraud and misappropriation of HIV fund management in the country.

Nouboussi, in the clarification he sanctioned and, which was made available by Head of Communications Department, External Relations and Communications, Global Fund headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Christy Feig, said what was insinuated as fraud was mere audit review and not an investigative report that can establish fraud or misappropriation or any other problems.

Recently, there were reports of purported misappropriation of $19.6 million worth of COVID-19 procurement grants awarded to Nigeria by Global Fund – an allegation the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has roundly refuted.

According to Global Fund, there is a lot of difference between an audit review, which is periodically carried out to examine the design and adequacy of internal control mechanisms and risk management processes, as well as an investigation, which is usually a more comprehensive study of all the records to examine whether fraud or misappropriation has taken place.

THIS came as Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, yesterday, disclosed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the production of vaccines in commercial quantity to support routine immunisation programmes in the country.

The meeting, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, also deliberated on a partnership deal sealed with an Indian firm, Serum Institute of India.

In the new arrangement, Bio Vaccine Nigeria, an indigenous public firm, will control 15 per cent of the market share, which will be used for contract manufacturing of vaccines, as an initial step, over the next few years, when the plant in Nigeria will start to work.

MEANWHILE, MTN Nigeria has donated 604,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to the Federal Government.

Speaking, while receiving the vaccines in Abuja, the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, commended the telecom firm for the gesture, saying 604,800 doses mean a potential 604,800 fully vaccinated Nigerians.

In her remarks, the General Manager, MTN Nigeria (Northern Region), Hajia Amina Danbatta, observed that in 2020, the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which put pressure on governments.

She said, in conjunction with the African Union and the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), MTN signed a Memorandum of Understanding to distribute vaccines to Africa, particularly Nigeria, where it operates.