The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) is a coalition of over hundred and fifty anti-corruption organizations whose primary aim is to constructively combat corruption and ensure effective monitoring of anti-graft agencies charged with the fight against corruption and enthronement of transparency, accountability, probity towards the eradication of corruption in Nigeria.
Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) is a ‘public-private’ global health organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland. The organisation was launched in 2000. It assists developing countries by providing them with vaccines and cash support to help protect children from killer diseases like polio, which greatly affects Nigeria, as it (Nigeria) is one of the worst hit countries with cases of child-killer diseases. Other affected countries being Pakistan and Afghanistan. GAVI granted funds to Nigerian Government for the procurement of vaccines and the development of the health sector, specifically for Nigerian children. GAVI, through its Cash Program Audit (C.P.A), investigates how disbursed funds given to beneficiary countries are spent. Having investigated cash grants allocated to Nigeria between 2011-2013, C.P.A came up with an indicting report of fraud and mismanagement of funds by the Nigerian government through Federal Ministry of Health and National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
In response to this discovery, the Nigerian government admitted culpability through a letter titled ‘Letter of Understanding on the Principles Regarding the GAVI Cash Program Audit 2011-2013’, dated October 17, 2014 and signed by the former Health Minister, Professor C.O. Onyebuchi Chukwu. The Ministry agreed to return the amount of misused fund as requested by GAVI. The amount being a sum of $2.2million. Due to this mismanagement of funds, GAVI has stop further disbursement of funds to Nigeria, pending when concrete and convincing steps are taken to checks ominous corruption in our health sector.
Nigeria has been receiving support from GAVI since 2002 and the implication of this action by GAVI is that the lives of many Nigerian children would be endangered by their exposure to deadly diseases. According to our independent findings, GAVI, through the C.P.A, had earlier requested the intervention of your Commission in investigating the rot in the Nigerian health system, and to cross-check if taxes paid by GAVI to Nigerian government through the Ministry of Health were actually transmitted to the F.I.R.S.
CSNAC is by this petition requesting an immediate and thorough investigation into this self-admitted fraud and mismanagement of fund in the Federal Ministry of Health; with a view to bringing to justice all those involved in the exposure of the country to this international opprobrium and also, ensure the retrieval of the fund concerned from the purse of individuals who misappropriated. This should be the source of the former minister’s promised refund and not the country’s coffer. Your timely and thorough action would also correct the negative impression, the fraud and mismanagement have created of this country.