Appropriation Bill: [email protected] Seeks Prioritization, Adequate Budgetary Allocation For Health In Nigeria
As President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2020 proposed appropriation bill to the National Assembly as part of the Nigeria’s effort to finalize the annual budget for roll out in January 2020.
The Partnership for Advocacy on Child & Family Health ([email protected]), a coalition of 23 Nigerian civil society organizations, has stressed the need for the Federal Government to prioritize and increase budgetary allocation to the health sector.
In a statement signed by coalition’s spokesperson Dr. Habib Sadauki in Abuja also wants timely releases, and to also prioritize the full release and ensure efficient and effective utilization of budgetary allocations to capital expenditure of the health sector.
This according to [email protected] , will contribute to equipping; repairing; revamping and making fit for purpose the country’s overburdened and failing health infrastructure.
While the commended the Federal government for the early submission of the 2020 budget to the National Assembly it raised concerns about the ability of the estimates to address the health needs of Nigeria’s almost 200 million-strong population.
[email protected] observes that over the last decade, the utilization of capital expenditure in the health sector has been poor, making it difficult for the country to achieve the objectives of such budgetary allocations.
The statement says in 2018, the capital allocation to the sector was N141.62 billion while the amount released was N21.62 billion, 15.3 percent of the total capital expenditure for the health sector.
“More shocking is that of the amount released (N21.62 billion) only N13.35 billion or 9.4% was utilized. The sum of N8.27 billion had to be returned to the treasury.”
“[email protected] drew only from official government sources in making this analysis. The [email protected] coalition raised the red flag that this pattern of appropriation, non-release and return to the treasury of public funds meant for the health sector has been happening over the past years. It is not new to this current government.”
According to the coalition “For instance, in 2012 the total capital allocation to the health sector was N60.92 billion, out of which only N45 billion was released.”
The group says its aware of the implication of the underfunding of the health sector like Doctors, Nurses and CHEWS with no equipment and supplies to work with get frustrated and will look outside overseas for a more enabling professional environment.
The coalition therefore, call on lawmakers to ensure early passage of an adequately funded health sector line within the annual budget and to discharge their constitutional responsibility of effective supervision of health sector budget implementation.
“We call to the public’s attention the fact that despite the Federal Government’s signing of the Abuja Declaration in 2001 promising to spend 15% of the annual budget on the health sector, NO GOVERNMENT has achieved more than 6%.”
” The situation is the same at the state level, with only one state government actually appropriating 15% of the state’s budget to the health sector in 2016 but failing to release less than 5% of this budget.”