Experts have urged the Federal Government to ensure judicious use of the N500bn received for COVID-19 intervention in the country.
They made the call at the weekend during a retreat for journalists on Nigeria’s commitment to the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (PMNCH) COVID-19 call to action organised by the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) and other partners in Abuja.
- Terrorism financing: Dozens arrested in nationwide crackdown
- Residents jittery as bandits regroup in Zamfara forest
The government, with the support of the International Monetary Fund, included a fiscal stimulus package in the form of a COVID-19 intervention fund of N500bn in the revised 2020 budget for additional health-related re-current and capital spending, and other non-health interventions supporting key sectors of the economy.
Out of the N500bn stimulus package, N126bn was allocated to the health sector.
Coordinator, AHBN, Dr Aminu Magashi Garba, said: “We’re calling on the government to put these monies to use to provide an effective response for Nigerians.
“Within this N126bn, there’s N20bn for hazard allowance, N10bn for vaccine production, there’s money for research and documentation, intensive care units and training among others. Let them be used for the benefit of the country.”
Chairman, National Advocates for Health, Muhammad Usman, decried the poor budgetary allocation to health despite the ‘Abuja Declaration’ which stipulates 15 per cent budgetary allocation to health.