Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has appealed to National Assembly to ensure equitable distribution of funds in the health sector, saying immunisation will consume N32 billion of the N46 billion 2020 health capital budget.
Dr Aminu Magashi, the Coordinator and Founder, Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) and Community
Health and Research Initiative (CHR), made the appeal during the maiden monthly interaction with Association
of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said about N46 billion was allocated to health capital projects in the proposed 2020 health budget presented to
the National Assembly by the President.
He added that of the amount, N32 billion, representing 72 per cent of the fund would go to immunisation.
He explained that “while this is good news for immunisation interventions in Nigeria, it has a budgetary concern
as many important areas such as Malaria, Family Planning, cancer control, among others, would have inadequate funds.
“We are not saying that money for vaccination should not be there, we are calling on government to
make more funds available to the health sector to carry out other projects.”
Magashi commended the Federal Government for capturing the Basic Health Care Provision Fund in the 2020
as statutory transfers as against in 2019 where it was captured as part of the service-wide vote.
He lamented that N44.50 billion was allocated as Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in the 2020 budget,
stressing that he amount was short of more than N10 billion, as BHCPF should be around N56 billion.
He explained that the National Health Act 2014, which provides for the BHCPF stipulates that one per cent of the
consolidated revenue should be captured as BHCPF.
According to him, UBEC gets two per cent of the consolidated revenue and receives about N112 billion.
“We are calling on the National Assembly to increase the fund by more than N10 billion so that the appropriation
becomes full one per cent of consolidated revenue as provided by the National Health Act,’’ he said.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari has proposed an aggregate expenditure
of N10.33 trillion for the Federal Government in the 2020 budget proposal, as presented to the joint session of the National Assembly.
The expenditure estimate includes statutory transfers of N556.7 billion, non-debt recurrent expenditure of N4.88 trillion
and N2.14 trillion of capital expenditure, excluding the capital component of statutory transfers.