By Sola Ogundipe
THE Lagos State government has said that allocation of 15 per cent of its annual budget to the health sector in line with the Abuja Declaration of 2000 is attainable in the near future.
Hinting this recently during the Year 2018 Budget Consultative Forum held at the Lagos West Senatorial district, the state Commissioner for Finance,Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade said: “We know what the population is and looking at the 2017 budget for health which is six per cent, we can argue that it is too low considering that the Abuja Declaration is 15 per cent. But I will take you back to the 2016 budget and what we did then. In 2016, we spent about N10 billion to intervene in the health sector. When we came in and we saw the quantum of what we needed to do in the health sector, N10 billion was released as a special intervention. We believe the sum is still being implemented and cuts across two budgets.
“So if we add that intervention to what we plan to do this year and you look at it in terms of access to health in Lagos, you can see that Lagos is ahead.”
Ashade noted that compared to other states, there are areas that development partners are onboard that is also captured in the budget because the partners help in terms of what the state plans to do.
“We won’t have to shirk responsibility. We are aware of the 15 per cent budget allocation and will continue to work towards achieving that. We will do what it takes because health is wealth and we are really very committed to it.
“Our population is likely to hit 27 million by 2020 and we all have to be prepared. Lagos deserves to be treated specially but even Lagos State government is looking at areas we can grow the size of our revenue to be able to be in a position to provide amenities, facilities and infrastructure for the people that look up to Lagos for opportunity,’’ Ashade avowed.