For the National Agency for Control of AIDS, NACA, to have more power to regulate the coordination of HIV/AIDS activities in the country, the Act establishing the council needed to be reviewed and amended, its Acting Director General, Dr. Kayode Ogundemi has said.
Ogundemi, who made the demand during a meeting with the Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare, Communicable and Non Communicable Diseases, in Abuja Tuesday, said this would enable NACA to boost its operations in the existing states and also extend its services to every geo-political zones of the country.
He therefore sought the support of the Senate committee in modifying the Act, stated that due to certain legal constraints NACA has experienced in the coordination if HIV/AIDS prevention programmes there is need for a comprehensive overhaul of its Act if it must perform optimally.
The Acting DG who also briefed the senate committee chaired by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa on the 2016 budget performance of NACA, noted that council intends to extend its support to two more States in 2017, beyond Abia and Taraba Sates where it channeled most of its resources in 2016.
He disclosed that NACA has so far disbursed 82 percent of the funds received from international donors including Global Fund between NACA and the States.
Ogundemi said that Nigeria stands to access a total credit of $225million from the World Bank alone for the programme which is expected to close in the next five months.
He also decried poor political commitment at the States level in terms of funding and therefore implored the Senate to assist the Council in the 2017 appropriation to enable it reaches out to other States in the country as well as upgrades its facilities nationwide. He however told the committee that NACA will encourage private healthcare facilities to help the HIV/AIDS prevention programmes.
Senator Ohuabunwa (PDP Abia North) assured the council of the senate supports, adding that it will soon embark on a holistic investigation of the global fund, which was reportedly misused.
He urged NACA to submit a comprehensive report on the external funding, as well as how much it has so far received and spent.

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