2018 budget: Senate says N57.1b deduction strictly for primary healthcare

The Nigerian Senate, lawmakers
The Nigerian Senate

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Lanre Tejuoso, has explained that the N57.1billion expected to be realized from the one percent deduction from consolidated revenue fund in the 2018 budget estimates, is strictly meant for the provision of primary health care service delivery.

Mr Tejuoso, a senator representing Ogun Central, further informed that each of the primary healthcare centres will get its allocation directly and not through the 774 local government councils across the country again to ensure that the money is spent for the designed purpose.

The lawmaker, who was flanked by officials of USAID during a media briefing in Abuja, said the arrangement is a game changer that will make healthcare delivery available and effective at the grassroots across the country.

“This one percent is to take care of primary health care and to ensure that pregnant mothers, children can easily just work to a nearby clinic to take care of their vaccination and antenatal and simple things like a fever.

“The value is about N57.1 billion. The game changer for Nigerian health sector is the implementation of this one percent. So I decided to focus on it rather than trying to introduce another bill that will not be obeyed,” he said.

He, however, added that 2% of the N57.1b would be set aside for the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC for control of an emergency outbreak of diseases.

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Mr Tejuoso said: “As regards the communicable diseases emergencies we realize that the Nigerian government is very good at emergency, whenever there is an outbreak, they are very good at releasing funds for such outbreaks.

“We decided that out of this one percent deduction from consolidated revenue fund which will amount to N57.1b, 2 percent will be set aside for NCDC to control the disease.

“In this one percent, NCDC will get two percent that we will be building up over time, the money will not go to TSA, it will just be in a fund for them when they have an emergency they can access fund from it to fight it”.