Mr Celestine Okwudili, Programme Coordinator, Private and Public-Sector Transparency and Accountability, Oxfam Nigeria, has called on the Federal Government to increase budgetary allocation to the health and education sectors.
Okwudili said on Tuesday in Jos that low funding was affecting growth in those sectors of the country.
He said that the N304.4 billion, representing 3.9 per cent allocated to the health sector in the 2018 N6.8 trillion budget proposal was “abysmally low.’’
According to him, this contradicts the recommendation of 2001 Abuja Declaration which asks government to allocate at least 15 per cent of its annual budget to improve the health sector.
He said if government increases budgetary allocation to the sector, it would go a long way in bridging the gap of inequality.
Okwudili noted that the poor and average Nigerians patronise more of government owned health facilities.
“So, better funding of the sector translates to a better output of healthcare service to the poor and average Nigerian who can’t afford the charges of privately owned hospitals nor afford medical tourism.’’
On education, Okwudili lamented that the sector was allocated N605.8 billion in the 2018 budget proposal, representing only seven per cent.
He noted that the poor budgetary allocation to the education sector would in turn affect the output in the sector and called on government to prioritise the sector through increase funding. (NAN)