By Luminous Jannamike
BUJA – The Federal Government has said it will spend the sum of N2.8bn out of the N55.1bn Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, BHCPF, on delivering emergency care to citizens in 2018.
It said the N2.8bn which represents five per cent of the total BHCPF would be drawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF, of the nation.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole disclosed this at the handover ceremony of the last batch of 43 ambulances to his ministry by the Japanese government in Abuja on Friday.
Adewole, who assured the Japanese government that the last batch comprising 12 of ambulances would be well used, stressed that the gesture came at an auspicious time as the
government was already paying greater attention to the provision of emergency care to citizens.
He also highlighted other areas Nigeria has benefited from the Japanese government saying “We have benefited from support in the power sector, in providing and upgrading the laboratory at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, which is in the pipeline.
“I am also aware of the support of the Japanese government in upgrading primary healthcare centres in some states and also investing in education. These are in consonance with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, of the government.
“I want to assure you that we would use tbses ambulances well. We have already created an avenue for the supporting emergency care. From this year onwards, five percent (N2.8bn) of the one percent (N55.1bn) BHCPF of the CRF would go into offering emergency care.”
Adewole thanked the Japanese government for joining hands with the Federal Government towards investing in the people.
Earlier the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Yutaka Kikuta, the last batch of ambulances were the fulfilment of a promise made by his predecessor, Ambassador Kusaoke last year.
He noted that the ambulance project was one of the many products of the collaboration between the governments of Japan and Nigeria.
He said: “This project is particularly unique because ambulances mostly serve those in critical condition when the availability of an ambulance and rapid response could mean the difference between life and death.
“Japan is a country that keeps her words. Around this time last year, the government of Japan handed over to the Ministry of Health 31 ambulances in the first batch of delivery out of the total 43 ambulances. These ambulances were meant to be distributed to every state of Nigeria and the FCT.
“At that ocassion, my predecessor promised the remaining 12 ambuly would be delivered in due course. Thus, we are gathered to mark the delivery of the remaining 12 ambulances in fulfilment of the promise made a year ago.”