Martins Ifijeh in Lagos and James Emejo in Abuja
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba said the federal government had earmarked the sum of N126 billion in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) to upgrade health infrastructure across Federal Medical Centres (FMC) and teaching hospitals with intensive care units.
Also to benefit from the funding are laboratories and isolation centres in the 36 States of the federation including the Federal capital Territory (FCT).
Speaking at the 21st anniversary of the Temitayo Awosika Help Foundation (TAHF), which was held via web conference, over the weekend, he said the government was committed to making progress in the health sector by upgrading and developing its health infrastructure and operationalisation of the National Health Act 2018.
He pointed out that he had already he had already inaugurated 26 Technical Working Groups (TWGs) for the development of Nigeria Agenda 2050 and the Medium-Term National development Plan (MTNDP 2021-2025).
He stressed that the plans were to succeed the current Nigerian Vision 20:2020, and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020) respectively adding that they are expected to address development challenges in all aspects of the country’s national life including healthcare, within the agreed time horizon.
However, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Sufuyan Ojeifo, the minister said: “As part of the improvement to our health sector, it is necessary to implement most of the research findings that are beneficial to the development of our people especially in this era of COVID-19, where health has taken the primary position as it always ought to be, in the affairs of national development.”
The minister also said the government will explore impact investment as additional financing option to drive institutional financial support for implementation of research planning outcomes towards improving the health of the ‘weak’.
According to him:“Impact investment is a blended finance aimed at reducing the barriers to private sector participation in social investments and financing of Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) implementation in the county.”
In his presentation, he said:” In order to build resilience in our health system, we have provided N126 billion in the Economic Sustainability Plan to upgrade health infrastructure across Federal Medical Centres and teaching hospitaÐls across the country with intensive care units, labs and isolation centres in 36 States and FCT.
“In this period of COVID-19, we still require more collaboration with the international community to tackle health challenges in our country.”
“The Act established the Basic Health Care Provision Fund to increase the fiscal space and overall financing to the health sector to assist Nigeria achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through revitalisation of Primary Health Care (PHC) and other schemes.
“The goal is to ensure that quality basic health care services are delivered to the majority of Nigerians irrespective of their location in the country.”