N78m World Bank HIV Fund Missing

The N78 million donated to the Kogi State Agency for AIDS and HIV Control (KOSACA) by the World Bank is missing!

Some top officials of the agency were said to have set up some “emergency NGOs” to siphon the fund.The money was earlier earmarked for disbursement to various Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to curtail the spread of HIV in the state.

Some of the non-existent NGOs had no offices, while the few that could boast of offices were largely owned by staff of the agency and government officials, Vanguard learnt.

“out of over 160 NGOs in the state, only 18 of them were short-listed for the disbursement while only four out of those 18 were genuine; with about 14 others owned by government officials,” Vanguard quoted sources as saying.

“Out of the money disbursed to these genuine ones, they were forced to part with some percentage as kickbacks to the management of the agency,” it was further gathered.

The agency was also accused of wasting N5 million on purchase female condoms which were yet to be distributed in the state.

A rights activist in the state, Comrade Idris Miliki had also raised an alarm on the state television programe, Coast to Coast, expressing his displeasure over the alleged poor manner the agency disbursed the money.

Miliki said persons with HIV/AIDS in the state were suffering in silence while some government officials were smiling to their banks with the World Bank grant.

The Executive Director of the agency Hajia Rainatu Bala however denied the allegations, saying that contrary to insinuations, the agency followed due process in the disbursement of the fund.

Bala, who spoke through the Project Manager, Dr Gabriel Musa also said there was nothing wrong with the disbursement of the fund to NGOs as the guidelines for the disbursement did not exclude them.

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