Nigeria: Allocate 6% of 2017 Budget to Health, Stakeholders Urge Nigerian Govt
The stakeholders’ retreat on immunization, health financing and the National Health Act has urged the Federal Government to allocate six per cent of the 2017 budget to health sector. The stakeholders also urged the Federal Government to allocate 7.5 per cent of the 2018 Budget to health sector with a view to attaining 15 per cent by 2026.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the retreat, the stakeholders decried poor quality of healthcare in Nigeria resulting from poor funding and non-implementation of the National Health Act 2014. The retreat noted that the Abuja Declaration of 2001 endorsed by African Union (AU) had proposed setting aside of 15 per cent annual budget by African countries for health sector financing. The communiqué further urged the Federal Government to ensure 100 per cent release and cash backing for all budgetary provisions for the health sector. The stakeholders called on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to involve the legislature and civil society organisations (CSOs) in policy formulation and implementation of budget process. The retreat urged the House of Representatives committees on health to work with CSOs to ensure budgetary allocation of one per cent of consolidated revenue fund to Basic Healthcare Fund in 2017. It recommended that the House of Representatives should collaborate with the Senate to allocate adequate funds for immunization, family planning, nutrition, maternal and new-born child health services in 2017. The communiqué called on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to conduct biometric verification of all health insurance enrolees in Nigeria by 2017. It urged NHIS to work with stakeholders in the sector to achieve universal health coverage for all Nigerians by 2030 with active involvement of states, communities and private sector. The retreat recommended that the Federal Ministry of Health should constitute a Health Sector Working Group made up of key stakeholders to work on Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) implementation.