Delta probes alleged diversion of Yellow Fever vaccination fund

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Delta Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.

By Egbo Ewomazino

The Chairman of Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Isioma Okobah has inaugurated a five-man inter ministerial committee on the recently concluded yellow fever preventive mass vaccination campaign in the state.

Dr Okobah during the inauguration said that the committee, which is a fact-finding panel, would look into the financial activities of the yellow fever mass vaccination campaign.

According to the chairman, the board received several complaints from health workers carrying the vaccination exercise and developmental partners of underpayment.

She stated that the board resolved to constitute an inter ministerial committee, saying the issue of fund diversion was a serious matter if not checked with culprits apprehended, adding that it was capable of thwarting the huge investment the state and partners invest in the health sector.

The panel, which has Mr Eric Oteri, Director Administration, Directorate of Local Government Affairs as Chairman, is to determine the circumstances surrounding the sourcing of funds for the Outbreak Response and preventive Yellow Fever campaign; and subsequent disbursements for state and LGA implementation activities.

The panel also has as reference, to ascertain UNICEF fund disbursements as applied for by relevant officers whether in line with the agency’s proposal and approval thereof by UNICEF.

The panel, according to the board chairman, would determine what procurement were embarked upon as in the various approvals and determine the circumstances surrounding the late disbursements of the funds for 2020 yellow fever campaign.

Besides, the panel would equally ascertain the processes for fund disbursements at the LGA level and find out whether field health workers were underpaid as per the approved spreadsheet.

The chairman said that the panel would also ascertain the level of external funding support for the Outbreak Response in Ika North East and Ika South LGAs and disbursements thereof from UNICEF and State Government Counterpart Cash contribution (GCCC).

Dr Okobah stated that the panel had two weeks to submit its report and urged it to be thorough in its investigation

Other members of the panel were Mrs Patience Ogbewe Overseas Development Assistance, Mr. Celestine Ofuani Ministry of Information, Mr Amos Okafor Ministry of Finance and Mr. Ishie Ignatus Office of the secretary to the state Government will serve as Member/Secretary.

Responding on behalf of members, the Chairman, Mr Eric Oteri, thanked the Chairman and the board for the confidence reposed in them by entrusting them with the huge task, and promised to carry out the assignment without fear or favour to all parties involved.

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