By AbdulSalam Muhammad
KANO – Chairman of Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has directed the Kano state government to account for funds released to it for Polio immunization last year.
Alhaji Dangote during a video conference with Co-chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gates, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state, his Kaduna state counterpart, Mal. Nasir El-Rufa’i, officials of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and development partners, at the Government House in Kano noted that his request lies in the interest of “accountability and transparency.”
The richest African Stressed that “all expenditure in exercise must be verified by external auditors and the report tendered (to partners in the tripartite agreement with the state government on immunization), by the end of next March 31”.
Dangote and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations had in 2012, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kano State government on routine immunisation, a tripartite accord meant to lapse in 2015 but extended for one year, while Kaduna state government signed a similar agreement one year ago.
Dangote further stressed the need for the state government to pay more attention to collation of quality-assured data collection in respect of the exercise because of its significance in decision making.
He however, commended the Ganduje administration for providing world-class cold chains, stressing the need for the government to continue to work closely with traditional authorities and local government officials to achieve a Polio free society.
The Co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gates,lauded Kano and Kaduna state governments for their unrelenting war against polio, stressing that total eradication of the disease is possible if the states maintained the zeal.
While stressing the need for accountability in managing donor funds released for immunization, he stressed the need for both states to ensure timely release of funds to the basket fund, to keep things moving.
In his contribution to the video conference, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said “although milestone have been recorded in immunization in the state, which hitherto was the Chief Host of Polio, but we would emphasized public enlightenment and cooperation with religious and traditional leaders to make the set goal achievable”.
He also promised that more attention would be attached to data collection and thanked Dangote Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other donor agencies for supporting Kano to attain landmarks on immunization and maternal/child health.