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Health minister disowns 2016 budget

by Muhammad Sani

By Haruna Gimba

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole disowned the proposed 2016 budget of the health sector, saying the original budget of his ministry was distorted and strange figures smuggled in.

The minister who appeared before Senate Committee on Health, told members of the committee to discard the budget before it and await a new one to be re-submitted which he said would reflect the programmes of the health sector in 2016.

He further disclosed that there were some issues on which conclusion have not been reached by the ministry and yet allocations have been made to them without the ministry’s knowledge.

Professor Adewole said the provisions of the budget before the National Assembly were in contrast with the priorities of the health sector as contained in the original budget it prepared. He added that some of the votes earmarked by the ministry for some activities had been re-distributed while some important fields in the sector had been excluded.

He said: “In the revised budget as re-submitted, N15.7 billion forcapital allocation has been moved to other areas. Some allocations made are not in line with our priorities. There is nothing allocated to public health and family health. Over the last two years, nothing has been done on HIV.

“We have to look into the details of the budget and re-submit it to the committee. This was not what we submitted. We will submit another one. We don’t want anything foreign to creep into that budget. What we submitted is not there. We have not reached that stage and we find the money there.”

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Lanre Tejuosho said given the submission of the minister, the budget before the committee was not the proposal of the Health Ministry and would therefore, be of no use working on a budget that had already been disowned.

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