Minister urges media to monitor execution of health budget
• Lawmaker seeks legislation for e-government platforms
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has urged the media to monitor budget implementation and support investment in the health sector. He spoke at the Health Communications Conference organised by the Association of Nigerian Health Journalists (ANHEJ) in Abuja.
Adewole said the role of communications in health goes beyond the traditional reporting and coverage of activities.
He stressed that the media is not just a platform for information dissemination, but a tool for delivering health interventions and ensuring positive outcomes.
According to him, the problem with the budget for the health sector is not that of poor implementation, but inadequate allocation and poor release of funds.
He said: “President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has shown a greater commitment to the release of budget funds against what obtained in the past.”
He explained that the country is still far below the Abuja Declaration and a commitment by the African Union Heads of Governments to ensure that 15 per cent of national budgets are allocated to the health sector.
He said the health sector’s budget in 2017 was around four per cent, which represents a slight improvement from around 3.73 per cent in the 2016 budget.
“This would mean that only about N1, 500 is being spent on the health of every Nigerian per year. This is despite the huge and unsavoury indicators that Nigeria grapples with, including maternal mortality, malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis,” he said.
He canvassed a tax-financed public spending to achieve universal health coverage in the country.
Meanwhile, a member of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Babangida Ibrahim, has urged the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to propose legislation to give legal backing to the e-government platforms in the country.