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‘FG earmarks N260bn to revitalise Primary Healthcare Centres’

by Haruna Gimba
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By Muhammad Amaan

The Federal Government of Nigeria said it has earmarked N260 billion for the revitalisation of the Primary HealthCare Centres across the country.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare Professor Muhammad Ali Pate,  said this on Friday in Abuja at the sectoral ministerial press briefing to mark the first anniversary of President Bola Tinubu in office.

The minister had said plans are underway to expand the PHCs from 8,300 to 17,000 through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and make them functional to deliver essential services.

“I am very pleased to say that there is N260 billion sitting right now at the states’ level. All the states of the federation have been mobilised for the revitalisation of the PHCs.

“This is a resource that is from the International Development Association, either, and from the Basic HealthCare Provision Fund because when we said we’re going to revitalize our PHCs, the key to doing that is the resources to be available.

“So a lot of the effort that has been going on over the last several months is to mobilise the resources to be able to deploy and the states have this N260bn in their pockets available,” he said.

Prof Pate noted that the government will provide the states with guidelines for the implementation of the revitalisation and equipment of medical facilities.

“Before this administration, we had looked at the previous years’ audits of how some of these resources were being utilised, and we realised that there were major gaps in several states, and we addressed it through the National Economic Council through the Governor’s Forum.

“I want to call out our state governors they leaned in because they saw the direction that the President has laid out through the Health Sector Renewal Initiative and the compact that they signed, and they acted to ensure that we remedy so that the resources would go to intended purposes.

“When we disbursed the BHCPF, we do that in public and we would put hotlines for Nigerians to report if any of the resources are being misused. We asked the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to keep an eye on it because the implementation is at the state level.

“We raised the resources but the states have to implement, but we have to make sure that the resources go to the intended objectives in terms of infrastructure equipment.”

He also said the government would begin the training of 120,000 frontline health workers for three years.

“The trainers have been trained in all the states of the federation, and I believe in the next one or two weeks, the training will commence. The guidelines have been revised, and printed and we raise the resources to be able to do that so that over the next three years, at least 120,000 frontline health workers, those who are serving our population in rural areas will have the capability, the skills, in addition to the infrastructure and the equipment that we have provided.”

Professor Pate also said President Tinubu is determined to unlock the healthcare value chain and to domesticate production capabilities to produce what Nigerians need.

He noted that international investors are coming to indicate interest in producing health and medical products in the country.

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