The Federal Ministry of Health has disbursed N12.7 billion of the N55 billion one per cent consolidated revenue appropriated in the 2018 budget for Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
The fund is a fundamental funding provision under the National Health Act but was only appropriated in 2018 for the first time since the Act was signed in 2014.
The Coordinator, Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), Aminu Magashi, disclosed this during a technical session with health journalists in Abuja on Thursday.
Mr Magashi said the money has already been disbursed as contained in the 2018 appropriation bill.
He said the fund was disbursed on May 17 before the dissolution of the last federal cabinet.
He said another tranche will be disbursed between August and September.
A breakdown of the disbursement shows that 50 per cent (N6.5 billion) went to National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) got 45 per cent (N5.8 billion) and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) 2.5 per cent (N327 Million).
Mr Garba also noted that another 25 per cent of the budgeted fund has been paid into the account of the Ministry of Health for further disbursement.
“This money has been disbursed to the three agencies and more money will be disbursed in August and September. We were also informed that another 25 per cent has already been allocated to the account of the Federal Ministry of Health,” he said.
He, therefore, requested the agencies to make the public know how they have utilised the releases for the benefit of the ordinary people.
“They are the gatekeepers to the Nigerian people so they have to tell us what they are using the money for. The money given to them should be used for drugs at the Primary Healthcare centres, for immunisation, infrastructure development, life-saving drugs for pregnant women and toilets in PHCs.
“It is a big shame that most PHCs lack a good convenience for both staff and patients. The money for NCDC should be used for emergencies preparedness for disease outbreak so the heads of agencies should not complain about lack of funds,” he said.
Chika Offor, the Chief Executive Officer, Vaccine Network, said the money meant for the public must work for the Nigerian people.
“The role of each agency of health is well stated out. The role of NPHCDA is to maintain the health centre, get staff when necessary and to be sure there are drugs.
“For NHIS, is to make sure that people in the community have access to those already established work centre. People no longer go to health centres because they don’t believe anything is happening there. So this money must work for the Nigeria people,” she said.