Business

October 15, 2022

How govt’ll raise N1.65trn finance for healthcare in 5yrs – Presidency

Mrs. Sarah Alade, Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN

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…As Pathfinder Int’l says Nigeria ‘ll fast-track its quest for Universal Health Coverage, if…

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

SPECIAL Adviser to the President on Finance and Economy, Dr Sarah Alade, has said Nigeria plans to finance 85 per cent of the N1.65 trillion commitment for health made by the Federal Government in the National Development Plan (NDP 2021-2025) through private sector contributions.

According to her, the Federal Government recognises that Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a basic economic growth engine it will commit only 15 per cent of its finance to health.

However, it would incentivise the private sector to develop the capacity to contribute the red of the money needed to achieve it.

But, the Country Director of Pathfinder International (Nigeria), Dr Amina Dorayi, maintained that Nigeria would be fast-tracking its quest for UHC, if citizens mobilise to mount sustained action and advocacy demanding that health should be on the agenda for political aspirants and elected officials especially as we draw closer to the 2023 elections.

They spoke at the 2022 Future of Health Conference organized in Abuja by Nigeria Health Watch with the theme: ‘The Political Economy of Health: Investing in the Future of Nigeria’

Alade said, “We have realised that focusing on the rising critical mass of healthy Nigerians is a basis for accelerated growth. So, we have planned around health as a basis for human right, and to citizens’ social and economic productivity.

“Under the effective healthcare (section of the NDP), Nigeria households are better prepared to respond to shocks, and what the government committed to this was N1.65 trillion over the five-year period (2021-2025).

“However, we are also hoping that 85 per cent of what is needed will be provided by the private sector.

“We also believe that over the five-year period, we will be able to increase life expectancy from 54 to about 56 years.”

According to the former Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the NDP has outlined all that is required to achieve human capital development, especially health in the country.

“But, one of the things we tend to do is to incentivise the private sector to be able to achieve human capital development,” she added.

Corroborating Alade’s position at the conference, the Senior Special Adviser to the Vice President on Economic matters, Yosola Akinbi, stressed the need for the country to have a specific Public-Private Partnership that is tailored to the health sector.

But, she added, “We need to continue to increase the budget for health. The government has to be able to also participate in vital sectors like health so that it can encourage the private sector.”

In her presentation on Politics and Health, Dorayi stated that achieving Universal Health Coverage should be a political goal and not just a healthcare goal.

According to her, “When our political leaders at all levels of government recognize the impact of their decisions, their actions, and inactions on the healthcare of their citizens, we can hold all leaders accountable for our poor health indices.

“For Nigeria to achieve universal health coverage, citizens need to organize sustained action and advocacy to demand that health should be on the agenda for political aspirants and elected officials especially as we draw closer to the 2023 elections.

“Politics of health can facilitate better health outcomes when there is a citizen inclusion in decision making at all levels of our political landscape.”

Earlier, the Managing Director of Nigeria Health Watch, Vivianne Ihekweazu, said that the aim of the 2022 Future of Health Conference was to provide a visible high-level platform for key stakeholders in policy, governance, economics, and healthcare to discuss the factors that influence health policies.