Lawmakers Summon Health Minister Over $300m Anti-Malaria Fund
Professor Mohammed Pate

Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Professor Mohammed Pate, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Daju Kachollom have been issued with a 72-hour ultimatum by the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Malaria, HIV/AIDS, and Tuberculosis, to appear before it over the expenditure of $300 million anti-malaria fund.

The ministry of health officials are also expected to respond to query on  allegations of denying indigenous manufacturers of insecticidal nets from participating in the contract for the procurement of insecticidal nets and other related products.

Africa Today News, New York reports that the Committee, which gave the ultimatum at an investigative hearing, also threatened to issue an arrest warrant against Kachollom, if she fails to honour the summon.

The chairman, Amobi Ogah, expressed displeasure that the Permanent Secretary had failed to honour the invitation of the lawmakers on three different occasions.

Ogah, who stated that malaria has become an epidemic in the country, said the government has always wanted to tackle the challenge, but lamented that the civil servants have always been the problem.

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According to him, “Malaria is now an epidemic in Nigeria. The government has always wanted to help the people, but most often, the civil servants are our problem. This money has been made available since 2021. We have been inviting the Permanent Secretary. This is the third time we are inviting her to come and explain to us what has happened.

“Have they used the money? If they have not used the money, where is the money? It is a matter of simple explanation. But, they have been running away, calling all manner of people to talk to us. But, we are here to defend Nigerians. We were elected to represent our people. Nigerians cannot continue to die of malaria, even when the government has made every necessary effort to see that eradication is achieved by 2030.

“The National Assembly will no longer tolerate the attitude of civil servants taking the parliament for a ride. Enough is enough. We are elected by our people to represent them. We are elected to talk for them and defend them, and we are talking about a disease that has turned to an epidemic. We will not hesitate to invoke our constitutional right to compel the Permanent Secretary to be arrested if she fails to honour the summon.

Africa Today News, New York

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