Stakeholders in the Nigeria Health sector have described the 2018 budget proposal already presented to a joint sitting of the National Assembly as poor and called for an increase to at least 7.5%.
The stakeholders lamented that no provision have been made for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, (BHCPF) in the 2018 budget proposal currently before the National Assembly.
The Stakeholders, Africa Health Budget Network, (AHBA) Community Health and Research Initiative,( CHR) and Track Health called on the Federal government to increase the health budget to at least 7.5% so as to enable the sector achieve its universal health coverage goal.
Mr. Yusuf Nwau of AHBA told newsman in Abuja on Wednesday that the call has become necessary to enable the sector carry out its mandate of improved life saving investments in Nigeria through immunisation, Family planning and Primary Health Care.
Nwau who lamented that the N340billion allocated to the health sector is a far cry from achieving the goals of the sector charges the National Assembly to engage the Executive Arm of government to make provisions for the 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund to be captured as a statutory transfer.
” In the 2018 budget proposal, the total amount allocated to health is N340,456 billion, out of a total national budget of N8.6 trillion. This sum represents about 3.95% of the total budget.
” When compared to the 2017 health budget, which was an aggregate sum of N308.464 billion being 4.15% of the 2017 federal budget; the federal government commitment to the 2001 Abuja declaration of allocating of at least 15% of total national budget to health is declining rather than improving” he said.
On her part, Chika Offor of Track Health called on the National Assemble to commence legislative process that will establish the Nigeria Immunisation Trust Fund.
She also called on the CDO and media to step up advocacy to political actors and policy makers so as to influence increase in health that will create positive impact to the universal health coverage.
Doosuur Iwambe – Abuja