An investigation by the Global Fund for HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria, on Friday, May 6, 2016, uncovered systematic stealing, fraud, and embezzlement worth $3.82 million by Department of Planning, Research and Statistics (DPRS) of the Federal Ministry of Health. The money is worth N591.5m in Nigerian currency.
The ministry is accusing staff and consultants assigned to a Global Fund finance programme to establish National Health Management System at sites supported by the fund.
Daily Trust reports that seven DPRS staff and three consultants assigned to the programme were involved or linked to the misappropriation of the funds, investigators said in their report.
The Fund’s inspector general initiated the investigation after a spot-check of $1.3 million of DPRS spending from July 2012 to December 2013 found two-thirds of it were “forged or missing supporting documentation.”
DPRS was to implement and administer a web-based reporting platform known as the District Health Information System (DHIS) and its staff and consultants were to train and provide support to users, termed service delivery.
Under that heading, its activities involved extensive travel throughout several states and some procurement of supplies.
Its spending was meant to come through the National Agency for the Control of HiV/AIDS (NACA) which received $330.8 million, according to GF accounts.
Between 2010 when the grant started and late 2014, DPRS spent a total $4.03m. Out of that amount, $3.82m was on delivering its services.
But the latest investigations found “some form of irregularity or fraud” in more than half the vouchers spanning 2010 to 2014.
At least 202 payment vouchers out of 355 had “some form of irregularity of fraud”, the report said.
The vouchers account for 77% of total funds spent on service deliveries of $3.8 million.