Benue suspends health scheme boss over missing N900m

Benue Executive Council has approved the suspension of Dr Stanley Ugah, the State Programme Manager, Saving One Milion Lives, over alleged  embezzlement of N900 million of the scheme’s funds.
This was contained in a press statement issued Thursday by Terver Akase, Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Makurdi.
NAN reports that Saving One Million Lives is a partnership health scheme run by the Federal and State governments to expand access to essential primary health care services for women and children.
The statement stated that Ugah had appeared before the Council but failed to justify how the N900 million was spent.
The meeting presided over by Governor Samuel Ortom ratified the suspension of the programme manager to pave way for thorough investigation into the matter.
It said: “The suspension of the Programme Manager was to pave way for thorough investigation into the handling of over N900 million being part of the funds meant for the health scheme.
“The investigation will also ascertain why Benue State took 35th position out of the 36 states in 2017 rating despite the huge sums available to the Programme.”
It said a three-man panel under the chairmanship of the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa was given one week to investigate the matter and submit its findings to the council.
According to the statement, the Council also approved two years extension for the State Head of Service, Veronica Onyeke, who is to retire this year.