By Ben Agande
Abuja—Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, said, yesterday, that the National Assembly’s reduction of the ministry’s budget proposal on disease prevention, surveillance and control, which is a major mandate of the ministry, from N582 million to only N78 million has had adverse effects on its response to disaster and emergency areas.
According to the Minister, the reduction of N4.4 billion from the ministry’s budget, affected three major areas including disease prevention, disease surveillance, disease control due to violence among others.
He said the reduction of capital project of the Ministry’s Headquarters from N19 billion to N14.57 billion affected responses to emergencies from terror attacks, natural and man-made disasters.
He said that President Jonathan has however, indicated a preference for completion of old projects instead of initiating new ones. He further explained that the design of such new projects alone take up to 14 weeks, even without the procurement and award of contract processes.
He said: “But there are also those that have not been completed, if you rather insist that we do new programmes obviously there will not be enough money to complete those other previous constituency projects that are there.”