By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – AS part of activities marking this year’s World Polio day, the Senate said Monday that it has concluded arrangements to probe the well over $420 billion donations to Nigeria from international bodies and organizations to help stop wild polio transmission in the country.
The Senate has however called on President Muhammadu Buhari, members of the presidential task force on Polio Eradication and all the thirty- six(36) State Governors to as a matter of urgency, convene a meeting where they would brainstorm on how to get Nigeria back on track to achieving a Polio- free status, just as it called for a review of the Abuja commitment indicators to ascertain where the country is doing well and where we are not doing well as a nation.
Addressing Journalists in Abuja to mark this year’s World Polio Day, Chairman, Senate Committee on Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, PDP, Abia North who noted that the probe became imperative to ensure that donor funds to Nigeria for the eradication of Polio was well spent and they reach the masses that actually needed them, stressed that the Senate would engage these international donor agencies to ensure that mistakes of the past were avoided and that the funds from these donors were used judiciously.
Senator Ohuabunwa who noted that the Committee on Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases would carry out the holistic probe because as a country, Nigeria cannot afford to repeat mistakes of the past where funds for developmental projects from donors were improperly managed and thus lead to sanctions on Nigeria from these donors, however stressed that Nigeria cannot continue to be disgraced as a nation through what he described as mismanagement of donor funds, adding that the country must work hard to gain or regain the trust of all donors, bilateral and multi- lateral partners.
According to Senator Ohuabunwa, the Senate will also beam its search light on the recent disbursement of $1.5 Million Dollars to the 36 States as the first tranche of money under the Saving One Million lives programme fir Results( SOMLPFor R), adding that the will review the process of how certain decisions were made with a view to reviewing the process of his certain decisions were made with a view to strengthening the whole grant system in s manner that makes monitoring the stats more rigorous thus making the states more accountable on his finds were used.
The Senator who hailed President Muhammadu Buhari, the Ministers of Health, major stakeholders, donors and Nigeria following what he termed, a significant milestone in the elimination of polio in the country, said that in the course of probing into the activities of states with regard to the $1.5 Million Dollars, the upper chambers would ensure that only States that perform to standard will get more funding, adding that the Committee pledges its total support to strengthening Nigeria’s Primary Health Care, PHC to ensure that good and affordable health could be guaranteed for all Nigerians.