Daily Trust

2018 Budget: Centre wants health allocation up N645bn

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has call for the increase of the health allocation in the 2018 budget to N645bn from the total 2018 appropriation of N8.612tn.

The Lead Director of the centre Barrister Eze Onyekpere who presented a Policy Brief on “Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Proposals in the 2018 Federal Budget” told newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja that the initial N340bn proposal fall short of the 7.5 percent of total budget as recommended in the Abuja Declaration.
The report which call for provision of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (CFR) which is one percent of the CRF in the sum of N56.866billion also call for full provisions for any funding gap in immunization and after 2018should discontinue the practice of funding immunization with borrowed funds.
“The total sum allocated to health in the 2018 budget is N340.456bn out of a total national budget of N8.612tn. This sum represents just 3.95 percent of the total budget. When compared to the 2017 health budget, which was an aggregate sum of N308.464bn being 4.15 percent of the 2017 federal budget.
“The Federal Government has clearly put the health sector in the reverse gear. “This is not up to a third of 15 percent of budget recommended in the Abuja Declaration. There are other health related expenses in the budget which add up to N83,112,723,8764. When added to the original health vote, it totals N423,569,136,756 which is 4.92 percent of the overall vote. This is still very low and less than one third of the Abuja Declaration benchmark,” Onyekpere said.
The report shows that the government failed to include the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHPF) in the 2018 proposals as required by section 11 of the National Health Act (NHA) despite mounting pressure from stakeholders for the implementation of that provision of the NHA.
“This amounts to a loss of N56.866bn being one percent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for 2018. The non-provision of the one percent of the CRF for the BHCPF is not only illegal; it is an assault of incalculable proportions on the rule of law and respect for human rights,” he said.
The report among others called for increase in the votes for nutrition to meet the funding gap with at a minimum provision for the annual investment of $10m which amounts to  N3,050,000,000 under the Health Sector Component of the National Food and Nutrition Policy.