The President of the Dangote group, Aliko Dangote, has given both the Kano and Kaduna State Governments until the 31st of March to produce an audit report of how funds donated by both his foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for polio immunization in the state last year were spent.
According to him, this was to ensure accountability and transparency in the management of the funds released under a tripartite agreement involving the state and the two foundations. “All expenditure in the exercise must be verified by external auditors and the report tendered to partners in the tripartite agreement by the end of next March 31,” Dangote said on Tuesday evening during a video conference at the Government House, Kano.
The conference involved the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, co-chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufa’i, officials of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and other development partners.
Mr. Dangote however commended the state government for providing world-class cold chains, and urged the government to continue to work closely with traditional authorities and local government officials to achieve a Polio free society.
In his comments, Mr. Bill Gates lauded the Kano and Kaduna state governments on the war against polio, stressing that total eradication of the disease is possible if the states maintained their zeal. He also added that there was a need for accountability in managing donor funds released for immunization, Mr. Gates advised both states to ensure timely release of funds to the basket fund, to keep things moving.
On his part, Governor Ganduje added that “Although a milestone has been reached recently in immunization in the state, which hitherto was the chief host of Polio, Kano state government will emphasize public enlightenment and cooperation with religious and traditional leaders to make the set goal achievable”.
He thanked the foundations and other donor agencies for supporting Kano to attain landmarks on immunization and maternal/child health.
In his remarks, Mr. El-Rufa’i requested scientific devices to help Nigeria generate accurate and comprehensive data for immunization and other development purposes. He assured that his state would duly provide its audited 2016 immunization report.
Dangote and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations had in 2012 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kano State government on routine immunization. The tripartite accord was meant to lapse in 2015 but was extended by one year. Kaduna state government signed a similar agreement with the foundations in 2015.