Non-releases of Budgeted Funds, a Threat to Health Sector Performance in Kaduna – Group

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

Kaduna Maternal Accountability Mechanism (KADMAM) on Friday identified non-release of funds budgeted for the health as a factor impeding development in the sector in Kaduna state.

They noted that, the State total health allocation in the reversed 2022 budget represents 12.74% of the state’s budget size which is less than the 15% recommended by the 2001 Abuja Declaration, they expressed doubt if the government is ready to achieve the implementation of half of what they allocated to the sector following the poor releases as at the end of the 3rd quarter.

They urged the government to ensure timely release of funds allocated to the health sector to improve service delivery, this they said would be the only way the investments in the health sector can yield the required dividend.

KADMAM, Advocacy Committee, Secretary, Yusaha’u Abubakar, made the call while making a presentation on behalf of the group, during a one-day health budget performance analysis to sustain advocacy for improved 2022 budget releases.

The meeting was supported by Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), a governance programme of the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Abubakar, said, of the N38.1 billion revised budget for the health sector, only N22 billion was spent, representing 57.8 per cent.

He added that the performance left a variance of N16.1 billion, adding that the performance falls below the expected 75 per cent in third quarter, at 25 per cent performance in each quarter.

“We are also worried that five out of eight health agencies performance is below 50 per cent as at the third quarter of 2021.

“The government should prioritise investment in the health sector, by ensuring timely release of allocated funds to the health sector to implement planned programmes and project.

“This, in the long run, will help improve the quality of health services that will improve the health outcome of the state population,” he said.

Some of the resolutions reached at the meeting is for stakeholders to continue to engage with relevant MDAs and to specifically advocate to the Planning and Budget Commission to demand for budget performance review to determine the gap between expenditure and expected results.

They also agreed to advocate to the Ministry for Finance and Liquidity Committee to push for timely release of allocated funds to relevant ministries, departments, and agencies.

The accountability mechanism also agreed to advocates to relevant committees of the State Assembly to push for timely release of budgetary allocations to MDAs performing below 50 per cent.

In his remarks, Mr Adejor Abel, State Partnership Facilitator PERL, noted that improving health outcome of citizens requires a multisectoral approach.

Abel pointed out that other sectors like water sanitation and hygiene, social protection, local governance, environment in one way of the other affect the health outcome of citizens and general wellbeing of the people.

He stressed the need to synergies and leverage on the potential of other accountability mechanisms to ensure the delivery of quality health services in the state.

He identified the mechanisms as Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition, Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, Local Government Accountability Mechanism (LGAM), Network of Civil Society on Environment and Society for Water and Sanitation.

He said that the meeting was expanded to cover other accountability mechanisms to be able to triangulate and synergies strategies to improve the delivery of quality health services in Kaduna State.

According to him, the meeting is organised conduct a three-year budget performance trend analysis of the health sector and use outcomes to advocate for increase health budget releases.

“The meeting was also organised to sustain advocacy towards influencing health sector spending and prioritisation of the sector.

“The meeting was also to mobilise for sustained advocacy towards influencing local government budget releases.”

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