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FG To Spend N50bn On Primary Healthcare Centers

The Federal Government will soon disburse N50bn to upgrade and expand primary healthcare centers nationwide. The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Ali…

The Federal Government will soon disburse N50bn to upgrade and expand primary healthcare centers nationwide.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Ali Pate stated this on Thursday during the Ministerial Oversight Committee (MOC) meeting in Abuja.

He said the funds would be sourced from the Basic Health Provision Fund (BHCPF).

The minister said there was no time to waste for work to start, noting, “In the first quarter of 2024, at least N50bn, which has already accrued in the BHCPF, we expect that to be disbursed through the state’s primary health care facilities to deliver services to women and children.

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“That is part of the target that Mr President has set for us so that we can expand the facilities over the next four years from 8,000 to almost 17,000 healthcare centers, but also to enroll more vulnerable Nigerians to have access to quality healthcare services.”

He stressed that the government would remain vigilant in overseeing the utilisation of the disbursed funds, ensuring transparency and accountability throughout the process.

He added, “The work of this Ministerial Oversight Committee will refine the criteria, issues of the package, how providers are paid, but importantly to ensure it’s embedded in the context of improved accountability, improved answerability, so the health facilities receiving these resources, state and local governments are able to answer to their people.

“What are they using the resources for, as well as what we do at the Federal Government level to respond to Nigerians in terms of the progress we will be making over the next four years?

“We will do that transparently, cost correcting as necessary, but all on the path to achieving the direction that the President has set for us to improve the health and well-being of Nigerians.”

Development partners endorsed and pledged support for the comprehensive plans outlined by the government through the sector-wide approach, as articulated in the recently unveiled Nigerian Health Sector Renewal Investment Initiative and the Compact, jointly signed by the federal and state governments, along with development partners, with the shared goal of revitalising the nation’s health sector.”

The WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Walter Kazadi Mulombo, pledged further commitment towards the success of the plan, saying, “The discussion was really encouraging and in the right direction because it set the time for a reset for business unusual to really accelerate heath towards achieving SDGs and hopefully and catch up.

Chika Okafor of Health Reforms Coalition, who represented Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), said, “Now we have the accountability, the touch light is on us to make sure that we do not fail because we have a sub-committee that is going to be developed, if for instance we fail, and we will not fail. We are all culpable, we are all in it.

“So, we must all put on our passionate hats to think about the poor and the vulnerable, that’s what this meeting is about,” Offor said.

A subcommittee within the MOC, composed of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Chairman of State Primary Health Care Development Agencies, Chairman of Health Commissioner’s Forum, representatives of development partners and Civil Society Organizations was established to ensure the effective implementation of the allocated BHCPF.

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