An NGO, The Centre for People’s Health, Peace and Progress (3PS), has called for improved budgetary allocations to healthcare and affiliate sectors.
This is in order to ensure maximum growth and development in the country.
3Ps executive coordinator, Mrs Cecilia Eseme, made the call in Sokoto at a validation workshop on Pre-Health Budget Memorandum for the state, recently.
The event was organized as part of the ways toward improving the realization of the ‘Right to Health in Nigeria’, which is an integral to right to life stipulated by the constitution.
It was with the support from the ‘Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement’ and the ‘United States Agency for International Development (USAID-SCALE) and the Center for Social Justice (CSJ).
Eseme said the project’s goal is to contribute to improvements in the realization of the right to health in Nigeria through enhancing respect for extent laws and policies.
She said that it was also aimed at reforming laws and policies as well as mainstreaming transparency and accountability in public health sector expenditure.
Eseme noted that the right to health was a cluster of Civil Society Organizations which 3PSls was a member championing the activities working for the realization of the right to health of Nigerians and good people of Sokoto state.
”The cluster has developed a pre-health budget memo which reviews existing laws and policies and their adequacy, existing budgetary commitments. The review also included their performance and relevance in the terms of economy, efficiency and effectiveness,” Eseme added.
She further stated that it ensures value for money, so as to identify what is working and what is not delivering as planned.
Similarly, it has proposed a set of interventions and focus for the incoming year.
The executive coordinator said that the draft memo will be validated by stakeholders and it would be used as a basis to engage the executive and legislature.
In his presentation, Mr Fidelis Onyejegbu, the Programme Manager, Public Finance Management in Center for Social Justice, said the capacity of cluster members and critical CSOs will be improved upon after the meeting.
Onyejegbu presented a breakdown of health sector budgetary allocations from national and Sokoto state provisions where participants dwelt on gaps, and standard requirements in relation to global best practices.
He said it is important to recognize Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and annual budget, as well as budgetary releases and overall performance to understand the impacts of citizens.
The resource person led participants on understanding of the provisions in Physical Responsibility Laws, Basic Healthcare Provision Fund and Primary Healthcare Report in Nigeria.
He enjoined participants to ensure active inclusion in the budget preparatory formulation and spotlight the importance of health provisions.
This is to bolster the attainment of Universal Health Coverage in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr Muhammad Ladan, from Sokoto State Hospital Management Board, underscored the importance of the project, saying planning and coordination of health activities were crucial.
Ladan urged participants from the State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency, State Primary Healthcare Development Agency and the Ministry, to consider their requisite mandates on ensuring a strengthened contributions.
Participants reviewed the draft and made recommendations on suitable requirements for the state and assured commitment to ensure proactive measures.