BY PRUDENCE IJAH, ABUJA
The ONE Campaign has called for timely release of the N55.15 billion 1% Consolidated Revenue Fund (CFR) for Basic Health Care Provision Fund to ensure that there is an improvement in the Health Sector.
The Nigeria Director for the One Campaign Sarah Makka who made this call at the One Campaign meeting to celebrate the appropriation of 1% CFR, said “i think it is important we acknowledge this milestone in a country where we think things don’t work, but we made this happen through a collaboration of Civil Society Organizations, media, celebrities and all partners”.
Speaking on implementation, She called for a roundtable with ministry of health, national Health insurance scheme, ministry of finance, the national Primary Health Development Agency to ascertain the dates for implementation and to monitor the disbursement of the funds , the bill of goods and specifics for proper tracking.
She said ” as citizens we need to keep government accountable, so ONE is calling for a meeting with government ministries, departments and Agencies and the essence of the meeting is to actually know when the first tranche of funds will be dispensed, which agency is getting what, how will it be implemented, because it is the role of all Nigerians, media and CSO’s to follow through this process”
“If Nigeria needs to be great, we need to get a hang of our health care system and from where we are now, a lot of advocacy needs to be done to achieve this growth process”.
In her address, the wife of the Senate President Toyin Saraki advocated for a well functional primary health centre. She said ” my dream for Nigeria’s health care is that we move from emergency care to preventive care, therefore Nigeria should value her citizens as the global community values her citizens, emphasis should be placed on developing Nigeria’s human resource”
Saraki expressed hope that the 1% Consolidated Revenue Fund will cascade to the state and will be fully adopted and implemented at the state level, as making Nigeria stronger is an imperative that needs to be achieved.
During the panel discussion, one of the partners, Dr Ben Ayene hinted on the challenges of implementing the 1% CRF stating that Primary Health Care centres in Nigeria are not yet classified, certified and legitimate as the constitution specifies, hence the need to ensure that the checklists are used to appraise all health facilities in the country.
Ayene said “the constitution specifically states that the funds should be disbursed to PHC’s that are legitimate, classified and certified, it is imperative for the certification of our health centres”.
ONE Ambassador Desmond Elliot who stressed the need for Nigerians to have access to quality health care advocated for training and retraining of health care workers.
Also, another celebrity voice of ONE Campaign, Bisola Aiyeola urged government at all levels to ensure that the 1% CRF is properly implemented while primary health centres should be fully equipped to have laboratories.
It is the expectation of the ONE Campaign that with the N55.15 billion now allocated for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, Nigeria through the primary health system will deliver health services to all Nigerians and implement significant health policies.
You will recall that ONE joined other civil society coalition to campaign for 1% Consolidated Revenue Fund outcome through its Make Naija Stronger Campaign.