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FEC okays N6trn for national health plan

The Federal Government, in collaboration with the states, has rolled out N6.071 trillion as financial intervention for the second phase of its National Health Strategic Plan.

Part of the objectives as outlined by the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, is to boost comprehensive health care delivery in the country, particularly regarding maternal and child mortality, polio, cholera, and others.

The approval was ratified on Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was on a working visit to China.

Adewole hinted that the new comprehensive health plan would span from 2018 to 2022.

He explained that 38.2 percent of the total amount would be spent on human resources, 34 percent would be spent on medicines, commodities, and supplies while seven percent would be spent on infrastructure.

He noted that development partners were key stakeholders in the presentation and approval of the plan, adding that the previous plan 1, ranging from 2010 to 2015, was only able to achieve less than two of its 52 targets.

According to the Health Minister, plans were on to consolidate the intervention against cholera with a view to banishing it from Nigeria within 5 years.

Some of the plans, which were in conjunction with international partners, included investment in water general education about health and prevention.

He said: “There was an attempt to come up with a plan between 2010 and 2015. That plan had 52 targets but regrettably, we were only able to achieve two of the 52 targets. So, we spent a long time, trying to put in place the second plan.

“So, it took us about two years to get this second plan done. It involves all states of the federation. It includes the Federal Capital Territory, and our development partners participated in the presentation and the approval of the plan.

“The plan was approved at the National Council on Health meeting that took place in Kano on 21st of June, 2018. The plan essentially has five strategic pillars and 15 priority areas.

“The five strategic pillars include: enabling environment for our attainment of health sector good, increased utilisation of essential package of healthcare services, strengthening our health system, and protection from health emergencies as well as health financing.

“In total, this new plan has 15 thematic areas, 48 strategic objectives and 282 interventions that will help us to really improve the healthcare delivery that will offer our people.

“What is important is the stakeholder and strong health sector wide participation of states in the presentation. We went through a five-stage process. The states went to develop their plans. The federal developed ours.

“We came together, harmonised all the plans and we brought everybody together to validate and adopt the plan and then moved on to Kano for implementation.

“The entire projects meant for over five years will cost us over N6.071 trillion and we believe that if this funding is done, if the plans are implemented faithfully, we will achieve a 31 per cent reduction in maternal mortality.

“We will achieve 33 percent reduction in horizontal mortality and we will achieve under five percent mortality reduction of 29 percent.

“We are quite confident that this plan will usher Nigeria into a new era, and council in its wisdom, approved this plan for implementation. So, the next thing now will be to ask the states to commence implementation.

“The Federal will commence, and we will go to NEC (National Economic Council) and Governors’ Forum to secure the buy-in of the governors so that this plan can be faithfully implemented.”

On his part, Minister of State for Works, Power and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri, stated that FEC approved N5 billion for 14 kilometres road construction in Akwa Ibom State.

He said N1.097 billion was approved for argumentation of the N28 billion Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja road section 1.

The Council, he said, also approved N78 million for design, finance and operation of 750 kilowatts power generation facility.

Equally approved was another N73 million augmentation for the construction of N1.2 billion bridge in Sumaila Local Government in Kano State.

About Lanre Oyetade

A multiple award winner in Economics and business journalism, Lanre Oyetade has served close to two decades in the media industry, spanning different notable stables, where he is privileged to have risen to the position of a title editor. A masters degree holder in Economics from the University of Lagos and doctoral student at the Babcock University, he is a winner of the prestigious NMMA Capital Market Award for two consecutive years (2004 & 2005), and was also a nominee for the body’s banking and finance and money market awards for two years. In 2013, he also won the Most Outstanding Business-Reporting Title Editor award of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN). A minister in the LORDS’s vineyard, he has been an inspirational speaker and resource person at many corporate and religious fora since early 2004, and has so far authored three books on the capital market; on personal effectiveness, and on personal finance, in 2008 and 2014, respectively.