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Budget: UNICEF Tasks Nigeria On 15% Allocation To Health lth

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The United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF), has tasked the Nigerian Government on effort towards the targets of 15 per cent annual national budget allocation to the health sector.
UNICEF Deputy Representative, Isiye Ndonbi, stated this at the 2nd Annual Legislative Summit on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Nutrition, themed: the role of law makers in the implementation of 1 per cent consolidated revenue fund and preparation for the mandatory contribution of Nigerians to health insurance, held in Abuja.
Ndonbi noted that there has been a drastic reduction in the country’s health budget in the last years, describing it as a really negative undertone to what was available.
He said “the funds that were allocated for food and lifesaving drugs for children that are malnourished has also been cut. The initial allocation for this activity was N1.2b which would have allowed the provision of treatment to 86,000 children in Nigerian and it would have saved 16,000 of them. However the approved budget right will only allow to carter for 28,000 children down from 86,000, this is a negative development.”
He however commended the legislators and the government for taking aside the 1 per cent of the consolidated revenue fund to establish the basic healthcare provision as approved in the 2018 budget, describing it as a critical achievement.
according to him, “in addition to the contribution to universal insurance which we need to have so that every Nigerian has access to health, it is critical for us indeed to make efforts to move towards the targets of 15 per cent annual national budget allocation to the health sector.
“As much as we are much below that, everything we do should just be seen as a contribution and not a replacement of what we invest in the health sector. we have made a big step with this 1 per cent, but I think the next step should be how far are we moving towards 15 per cent, because the declaration says 15 per cent as minimum and Nigeria unfortunately, we are still very below that target of 15 per cent, no wonder the performance is not very good at the moment.”

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Olanrewaju Tejuoso, assured of proper utilisation of the 1 per cent consolidated revenue included in the 2018 budget.

He said “this is an injection of about N55billion to the health sector and we don’t want it to be business as usual, we want it to be different this time around. We want to make sure that there is proper accountability, so we are trying to educate ourselves from the federal to the state level to ensure that we have a synergy and we have a cooperation to ensure that all the primary health centres, secondary hospitals that are going to benefit will actually have it quickly used.”

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