Senate queries Federal Ministry of Health for allerged N559 Million fraud

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The Nigerian Senate has queried the Federal Ministry of Health over the alleged mismanagement of N559 million generated from sales of 681,487 units of international certificate of vaccination (Yellow cards) to the public by some of its officials.

Senate also frowned at the revelation that nine assorted vehicles belonging to the health ministry were taken away by some former officials when they retired from service.

These were contained in the 2015 Auditor General of the Federation Report which was submitted to the Senate Committee on Public Accounts chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide.

The report reads in part: “It was observed from the data gathered from the state centres of the Port Health Services Unit of the ministry that a total sum of =N=559million  was generated from the sales of 681,427 units of International Certificate of Vaccination (Yellow cards) to the public between August 2013 and March 2015.  However, the ministry failed to remit the statutory 25% of the amount totalling N139,768,750.00 to the Consolidated Revenue Account

A vehicle survey conducted by my officers revealed that nine assorted motor vehicles belonging to the Federal Ministry of Health were taken away by some former officials of the ministry when they left the service of the ministry.  

“Two vehicles were taken away by two permanent secretaries who are now serving in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Ministry of Women Affairs, respectively. The other seven vehicles were taken away by some directors of the ministry who had since retired from service.”

Also in another query raised against the ministry, a Level 12 officer was paid N74 million against the laid down procedure in the civil service.

The query reads: “A whopping sum of =N=74.6million was paid to a Grade Level 12 officer in the ministry on 21st July, 2014, as personal advance for the public awareness campaign for international travellers on diseases of international public health importance.  

“It is worrisome that such a huge amount of public funds could be entrusted to a Grade Level 12 officer, whose entire terminal service benefits cannot even match the size of the liability.  

“An attempt by the officer to retire the advance in January 2015 was queried by the Internal Auditor for lacking sufficient details of the disbursement of the money. And up to the time of writing this report in September 2016, this huge advance had not been properly retired.”

Chairman of the committee said series of letter written to the ministry for their response to the allegations were ignored, warning that the Senate will have no option than to withhold the position of Auditor General of the Federation.

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