BY INUSA NDAHI, MAIDUGURI
The Borno State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BoSPHCDA) under the Executive Director, Dr. Sule Meleh, and the Additional Financing -Nigeria State Health Investment Project (AF-NSHIP), a World Bank assisted project under the Coordination of Hajiya Habiba Saidu on Sunday 1st December, 2019 warned Facility Managers and Financial Clerks in old and newly contracted Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and General Hospitals (GHs) in the state to desist from ineligible expenditure with funds disbursed, as according to him, anyone found wanting would not only be forced to refund, but face full wrath of the law.
Already, Certification trainings for Health Care Waste Management (HCWM) were conducted for 80 newly contracted Health Facilities simultaneously in Maiduguri and Gombe which commenced on Monday 25th November and ended up on the 27th same month 2019, while Trainings on Essential Drugs Management (EDM) started on Thursday 26 November, which ended on Saturday 28th November, 2019.
Dr. Meleh said, Borno, with over two million people who have been directly affected by the 10 years atrocities posed by Boko Haram deserved better health care services under the NSHIP, which is primarily aimed at strengthening the health system across the state.
He handed over the warning in Emerald Royal Hill Hotels, Gombe state, venue for the ongoing 3rd scale -up Financial Management (FM) Training for participants drawn from Damboa and Chibok, in addition to other newly contracted Health Facility participants from already benefitting LGAs of Askira-Uba, Shani, Biu, Hawul, Bayo and Kwaya Kusar, Southern Borno Senatorial District.
The training which is not the first time was organised by AF/NSHIP and the Agency inline with World Bank/Nigerian Government policies towards implementing AF-NSHIP and Performance Based Financing (PBF) to ensure judicious and transparent use of Investment Credits and Subsidies which are disbursed quarterly to improve and strengthen quality and quantity of healthcare indices in the state.
Similar FM training is also taking place in Maiduguri for health workers in newly contracted Facilities of Konduga, Mafa, Gubio, as well as newly additional health facilities in already benefitting pilot LGAs of Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC) and Jere, with 1st and 2nd scale up LGAs of Kaga and Magumeri which formed parts of Borno North and central respectively.
Dr. Meleh who was represented by the Internal Auditor of the Agency, Mallam Iliya Adamu Miringa said, although the training became necessary to instil zero- tolerance on corruption and mismanagement of funds under PBF, nobody would be spared from the sledged hammer if found guilty of diverting the funds to individual use or deviating from the financial procedures in managing the funds that are been disbursed quarterly to strengthen the health system.
He said AF-NSHIP’s main objectives are to ensure availability and affordability of quality health commodities, reduce child mortality, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDs, Malaria and other Diseases and enhance community participation with sustainability plan across the state.
His words: ” This is not the first time we are conducting Training on PBF/Financial Management for our contracted facilities, we have to periodically do this training without minding the financial cost because, the project had in the past discovered some ineligible expenditures going on in some of the facilities, and we expect that at the end of this training, we will not see or hear any problem in managing these funds by our Facility Managers or their Finance Clerks for the benefit of our traumatized people who have suffered much in the hands of Boko Haram sect.
“It would interest you to know that Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum’s administration is fully committed to the implementation of AF- NSHIP acivities in all the 27 Local Government Areas as the security situation improve.
“We started the project in June 2017 with two pilot LGAs of MMC and Jere, before we scaled up to other eight Local Government Areas of Biu, Askira- Uba, Magumeri, Kaga, Hawul, Shani, Bayo and Kwaya Kusar in 2018, and in this year (2019), we have scaled up to Konduga, Mafa, Gubio, Chibok and Damboa, and presently we have so far contracted 181 Health Facilities”. Meleh said.
He also charged all Contract Management Verification Agent (CMVA), Independent Verifier Agents (IVAs), among other stakeholders who were always in touch with these contracted health facilities not to relent, but offer technical support to ensure transparency, accountability and community participation in running activities of these contracted health facilities.
The State Project Coordinator, Hajiya Habiba Saidu who was represented by the State Technical Assistant, Mallam Auwal Ahmed while addressing the participants in Gombe, expressed gratitude to the National Project Coordinator of NSHIP, Hajiya Binta Ismail and the Borno State Government for their unflinching support to the Primary Health Care.
The National Project Coordinator, Hajiya Binta Ismail, represented by the National Focal Person in the state, Mr. Peter Adamu enjoined the participants to utilize the knowledge to be derived from the 3- Day Training, as Federal Government is fully committed to support the AF-NSHIP states in the north east recover from the menace of destructions inflicted on the health sector by terrorists and other violence related attacks in the region.
The Manager Belldome Consult, Dr. Audu Lucky who is one of the Facilitators told participants that from time to time his team from the Contract Management Verification Agency and Independent Verifier Agents (CMVA/IVAs) would be visiting the facilities to assess their performance to qualify foe quarterly payment of subsidies based on improvement in each indicator/domain enshrined in the quality checklists.
The Project Accountant, Alhaji Modu Kolo, represented by his Assistant, Alhaji Sunoma also said, the training will acquaint participants to have the basic rudiments of Financial Management in their facilities, adding that, the Financial Management tools which were developed in Akwanga, Nassarawa state, and adopted in Abuja, have to be practicalised and implemented in the state.