Exposed!!!: N78m World Bank funds scandal rocks Kogi Govt agency, NGOs

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Scandal involving a huge sum of N78 million donated by the World Bank for the control of HIV/AIDS in Kogi state has began to generating crisis as the management of Kogi State Agency for the Control of Aids (KOSACA) is being fingered in misappropriating the fund.

According to findings, the money donated by the World Bank which was to be disbursed to various Non=governmental Organisations (NGOs) to curtail the spread of the deadly diseases in the state was cornered by some staff of the organisation who quickly set up an emergency NGOs to siphon the fund.

Investigations also revealed that some of these NGOs were non existent and had no offices and merely existed on papers while the few that could boast of offices were largely owned by staff and government officials

One of the NGOs operators in the state who pleaded that his name must not be in print, said unlike other state of the federation where due process was followed for the selection of qualified NGOs who could assess the fund, that of Kogi was fraught with irregularities.

He said out of over 160 NGOs in the state, only 18 of them were successful for the disbursement while only three or four were actually owned by genuine NGOs operators with about 14 _-15 being falsified and owned by government officials.

He stressed that out of the money disbursed to these genuine ones, they forced to part with about 50 percent of the funds which serves as kickbacks to the management of the agency.

More findings also shows that KOWEN, a Non Governmental Organisation owned by the wife of the Kogi state sitting governor which was established less than two years ago was allocated a whooping #17 million even though it has no office nor staff to efficiently carry out the job.

The agency was also accused of wasting the world bank donations by purchasing #5 million women condoms which are lying in waste in their office in Lokoja.

This scandal it was learnt made a Human Right activist in the state, Comrade Idris Miliki to petition the State Assembly over the activities of KOSACA in the state.

He urged the assembly to as a matter of public interest urgently summon the management of the agency to explain how they disbursed the World Bank aids as he alleged that the money have been diverted to private pockets while persons with HIV/ AIDS in the state are suffering in silence.

When contacted on her own side of the story,the Executive Director of the agency Hajia. Rainatu Bala denied the allegations and said contrary to insinuations the agency followed due process in the disbursement of the fund.

The Executive Director who spoke through the project manager, Dr Gabriel Musa however said the guideline for the disbursement of the fund did not specify whether NGOs owned by government official should not be patronized.

(Source – Daily Sun)

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