The Health Sector Reform Coalition (HSRC) has urged the Federal Government to ensure that the N55.1 billion Basic Healthcare Provision Fund in 2018 budget be domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The group stated this while reacting to the signing of the 2018 appropriation Bill into law, insisting that the amount should only be disbursed when the provisions of the Act were fully complied with.
While calling for accountability, transparency and integrity in the disbursement and utilisation of the fund, the coalition pointed out that Section 11 of the National Health Act 2014 clearly provides the steps towards implementation of the BHCPF.
It also recommended that all the provisions in the section be strictly adhered to, as any other action outside the provisions of the Act would be illegal and counterproductive.
Chairman of the coalition, Dr. Ben Anyene, noted that the N55.1 billion in the 2018 budget would contribute significantly to solving the country’s intractable and chaotic healthcare delivery system.
He argued that the country’s poor health indices indicate that 37 per cent of Nigerian children were malnourished, while 43.6 per cent of them under the age of five suffer stunted growth.
He, however, noted that the Act provides that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) shall develop appropriate guidelines for the administration, disbursement and monitoring of the fund with the minister’s approval.
Anyene commended the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari for taking steps that would strengthen primary healthcare, while making it accountable.
He urged the federal, states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja to work together to deliver the provisions of the Act in a timely manner, stressing:[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“The interest of average Nigerians should supersede any other considerations in the implementation of the Law.”
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