The federal government has approved a five-year national health plan at the cost of N6.071 trillion. The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, who disclosed this yesterday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja, stated that the plan was approved at the National Council on Health meeting in Kano on June 21, 2018. According to him, if the health plan, which has the input and approval of development partners, is implemented faithfully, Nigeria will achieve a 31 per cent reduction in maternal mortality. The minister disclosed that there had been an attempt to come up with the plan, which had 52 targets, between 2010 and 2015, but that, regrettably, Nigeria was only able to achieve two of the 52 target and more time was spent trying to put in place the second plan. While disclosing that it took the federal government about two years to get the second plan done, the minister added that it involved all states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, and that at the plan had five strategic pillars and 15 priority areas. Adewole listed the five strategic pillars to include enabling environment for the attainment of health sector goals; increased utilisation of essential package of healthcare services; strengthening of the health system, and protection from health emergencies as well as health financing. In total, he pointed out this new plan had 15 thematic areas, 48 strategic objectives and 282 interventions that will help the government to really improve, healthcare delivery. He said, “What is important is the stakeholder and strong health sector-wide participation of states in the presentation. We went through a five-stage process. The states went to develop their plans. The federal developed ours. We came together, harmonised all the plans and we brought everybody together to validate and adopt the plan and then moved on to Kano for implementation. “The entire projects meant for over five years will cost us over N6.071 trillion and we believe that if this funding is done, if the plans are implemented faithfully, we will achieve a 31 per cent reduction in maternal mortality. We will achieve 33 percent reduction in horizontal mortality and we will achieve under five per cent mortality reduction of 29 per cent. “We are quite confident that this plan will usher Nigeria into a new era, and Council in wisdom, approved this plan for implementation. “So, the next thing now will be to ask the states to commence implementation. Federal will commence, and we will go to NEC and Governors’ Forum to secure the buy-in of the governors so that this plan can be faithfully implemented.” During his briefing, the minister of state for power, works and housingMustapha Shehuri, said that FEC approved N5 billion for a 14-kilometre road construction in Akwa Ibom State. According to him, the FEC also approved N1.097 billion argumentation for the N28 billion Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja road section 1, while N78 million was approved for the designing, financing and operation of a 750-kilowatt power generation facility. He disclosed that FEC also approved N73 million augmentations for construction of N1.2 billion bridge in Sumaila local government area in Kano State. The timeline for the Abuja-Lokoja road is 18 months while the timeline for the bridge in Kano State is 12 months, he said.
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