Civil Society Groups in Nigeria, under the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health At Scale (PACFaH@Scale), have commended the Federal Government for the over N1trn allocated to the health sector in the proposed 2023 budget and requested that the amount be maintained by the National Assembly during their appropriation debates.
In a statement signed by the group’s National Coordinator, who is also the National President, the Society for Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria, Dr. Habib Sadauki said maintaining the January to December fiscal budgeting cycle is commendable and challenges incoming governments to adhere to the principle.
“We commend the federal government for appropriating the highest percentage (5.75%) to the health sector in the 2023 budget since 2015 and for reintroducing a dedicated line and code to support the maternal health of Nigerian women scale-up of implementation of the national family planning program, services, and procurement of family planning commodities through counterpart -funding for 2023” he said
Dr Sadauki also described the allocation of N70 million for routine immunization as a welcome investment, adding that a 41% increase for immunization, over the 2022 budget allocation, from N50 million in 2022 to N70 million in 2023
“As the NASS reviews and debates the health sector estimates for 2023, PAS CSOs are concerned that 5.75% is still 9.25% away from the 15% promised in the Abuja Declaration signed by the Nigerian government. It is therefore our collective prayer to the NASS that, the 5.75% allocation to the health sector in the 2023 proposed budget must not be reduced, downsized, cut, or trimmed; if anything, it should be increased to approximate the 15% Abuja Declaration,” Sadauki added.
The coalition further described as inadequate the provision of N47.7 million to the basic healthcare provision fund.
‘’The 7% increase in allocation to the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in 2023 of N47,649,312 over the 2022 allocation of N44,564,737,089 is inadequate if the goal of UHC is to be achieved & should be increased’’ It says
The coalition, therefore, called on the national assembly to ensure that adequate provisions are made for human resources for health to redress the health sector brain drain.