A large chunk of e-cards printed by the federal Government to boost immunization of citizens under the Yellow Fever Virus (YFV) vaccination program and valued at over N200 million have been stolen from the Department of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja, the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, a civil society organization working in the areas of accountability and anti-corruption has reported.
The unauthorized yellow cards were being sold illegally by touts to travelers without actual immunization, and with the funds going into private pockets.
A PRIMORG undercover, was able to buy the unauthorized card on the street in Abuja for N5,000.
In February this year, the Federal government approved the new electronic yellow card for travelers to eliminate the incidents of forgery and sales of fake cards at airports and other designated locations where the yellow cards are demanded from travelers.
PRIMORG was reliably informed that following the approval, the Federal Ministry of Health printed one million e-cards in two batches of 500,000 copies in A and B categories. The new e-card was introduced in April 2019.
A comprehensive investigation carried out by PRIMORG has shown that the unauthorized yellow cards on sale in the open markets by touts, including near the VSF offices in Central Area in Abuja are part of the stolen cards from the batch B category printed by the Federal Ministry of Health.
A senior official of the Federal Ministry of Health is currently on suspension over the theft of the cards that is normally issued after citizens have been immunized at the payment of N2500 at designated clinics and Port Health Services centers across Nigeria.