By Haruna Gimba
The Coordinator of the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), Dr Aminu Magashi Garba has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure greater funding of the health sector in his second term.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, Magashi said that increased funding would help to achieve a more functional
healthcare delivery system.
He said that there was a need for Buhari to focus attention on certain critical areas in the health sector in the next four years.
He regretted that the health sector had persistently received about four per cent of the annual national budget in the last four years, describing it as grossly inadequate.
“The Allocation of four percent of the annual budget to the health sector is far below the 15 per cent of the Abuja declaration. We hope that the president will increase annual health budget to at least 7.5 per cent of the annual budget in 2020 to reduce over reliance on international funding,” he said.
Dr Magashi insisted that one per cent of Nigeria’s consolidated revenue should be committed to the health sector.
He said that by so doing, about N50 billion to N55 billion would be allocated to address critical areas of Primary Health Care annually.
He appealed to the president to ensure the implementation of the Strategic Healthcare Development Plan II and other health programmes
toward achieving universal health coverage.
Magashi hoped that in the next four years, civil society groups would initiate a bill at the National Assembly for the establishment of Immunisation and Primary Healthcare Trust Fund.
The AHBN coordinator explained that the fund would help to generate resources locally for funding Nigeria’s immunisation programme which, according to him, has been relying on external funding over the last 10 years.