Global Fund may suspend funding to Nigeria

The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria may suspend or terminate its funding to organizations in Nigeria as a result of massive fraud involving millions of dollars.

The Global Fund is an international financing institution that invests the world’s money to save lives from three major diseases.

The Office of the Inspector General of Global Funds to Nigeria discovered the fraud in an audit of 15 grants. The fraud amounted to $474,519,260 that was dispersed between 2003 and 2009, Business Day reports. An investigation and potential prosecution will be undertaken by the Independent Corrupt Practice and other related Offenses Commission.

The funds were meant to be disbursed to multiple beneficiaries in Nigeria including the National Action Committee on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, the Association for Reproductive and Family Health, CHAN-MEDIPHARM, the Yakubu Gowon Center for International Co-operation, the Society for Family Health, the Association for Reproductive and Family Health, and the Christian Health Association of Nigeria.

Mike Sowe, head of the publicity unit of the ICPC, said that the commission has concluded arrangements to bring erring officials to book using all available legal instruments, according to Business Day. In addition, a system study and review will be used by the ICPC to prevent further breaches.

The Global Fund has approved funding of $21.7 billion for over 600 programs in 150 countries as of December.