Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The federal government has been urged to release and disburse the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) currently domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the state governments towards meeting Family Planning deadline of 2020.
The Coordinator, Community Health and Research Initiative (CHRI), Dr. Aminu Magashi, made the call while speaking with journalists at the validation meeting for the Motion Tracker aimed at strengthening the fulfillment of the commitments of Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) global strategy and Family Planning (FP)2020, in Abuja recently.
He noted that the tracking mechanism was aimed at supporting the Nigerian government and the 36 state governors to track progress in addressing FP2020 and EWEC policy of the government.
“From what we have seen in the 2018 BHCPF, only 25 per cent of that fund has been released to the Federal Ministry of Health through a dedicated CBN account.
“That money is still seating in the account, it has not been disbursed to the state governments and to the agencies that are supposed to deliver. It means that it is not useful for now because it is still in the account.
“We are calling on the federal government to hasten the disbursement and ensure accountability,” Magashi said.
He further explained that “as you are aware, N55 billion last year was allocated to the BHCPF. In 2019, N51 billion has been allocated. We have to track this money to know where it is going and how it is impacting on the people of Nigeria.”
While noting that the money was not meant to be in the CBN account for more than four weeks, he said: “When it enters the gateways, it should not stay more than two weeks. It should be transferred to the state governments. But up till now it is still in the main account.
“We are calling on the minister of health to hasten up its releases and remember that five per cent of the money is for emergency medicine services”.