Kuni Tyessi, Abuja
The Deputy Chairman, Healthcare Services in the House of Representatives, Hon. Mohammed Usman has stated that Nigeria is doing poorly in the monitoring and tracking of budget as it concerns immunisation.
He said as a result of the inadequacy, immunisation system in the country is in a lot of negative surprises and sadly enough, Nigeria has taken over from India which used to be the country enmeshed in budget tracking inadequacies.
He said in order to forestall the continuity of such, it was important to liaise with Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in order to assist state governments in a successful tracking of where funds that were budgeted for and released have been channelled to, bearing in mind that what works in a state might not be the case in another, hence the meeting on “Policy dialogue on budget tracking for sustainable immunisation financing.”
In the same vein, the Chairman, Health Sector Reform Coalition, Dr. Ben Anyene said for Nigeria to make head way in budget tracking, some salient questions must be asked and understood.
“We shall continue to discuss the issues and challenges. Tracking is key in the budgeting cycle and if you are not a person of integrity or someone to be trusted, you wouldn’t want budget tracking to be done.
“The volume of waste we are having in this country is because we are not matching the tracking with the budget. If you are voting an amount for a specific project, if you are doing an appropriate tracking, simple questions to begin with is to know if the project is relevant for national aspiration, because we have national health priorities.
“If it is relevant, does it fit into the plan? If it does, has the fund been released? Was it released at the right time? The budgets are often released towards the last quarter of the year, so what are you going to do with it?
“Money for the whole year being released towards the end of the year doesn’t make sense. These are part of the things that need to be tracked in budget before we can start to nod our heads and it’s not easy. Most people in the budget tracking space are usually CSOS. How much of personnel, money and expertise do they have?” he asked.