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Coalition raises alarm over alleged misappropriation of Global Fund grants

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By  Chioma Obinna
LAGOS — A coalition of over 60 Civil Society Organisations under the auspices of CSO Health Watch, yesterday, raised alarm that Nigeria might lose the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFTAM) following alleged misappropriation of  the grants by Nigeria’s Country Coordinating Mechanism, CCM, which oversees and manages the grant.

The group also alleged that the Global Fund had directed the Nigeria CCM to refund N74 billion ($474.5 million) allegedly misappropriated by the body.

Addressing journalists in Lagos, spokesperson for the groups, who is also a member of Communities Delegation to the Global Fund Board, Mr. Ifeanyi Kelly Orazulike, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure a thorough investigation is done and those found to be involved  duly punished.

His words: “Mr. President, we also demand in the spirit of transparency and accountability, that we must act on time and decisively to ensure that we do not face the consequences of inaction which is a situation whereby the Grants are cancelled and innocent Nigerians living with AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria suffer by loss of access to the grant and its benefits.”

Orazulike alleged that the agreed interventions and activities stated in grant proposals are not fully implemented and some recipients and partners exaggerate their interventions in programme sites.

Orazulike who frowned that “There is glaring case of conflict of interest in the Nigeria CCM. Of the 24 Nigerians on the CCM, 12 are also grant recipient which implies that a group of people writes the proposal, selects itself as grant recipients, implement activities and overseas its own performance.”

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