Governors pledge progressive budgeting for primary healthcare
Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), yesterday, declared commitment to progressive increase in provision of funding for primary health care (PHC) through efficient budgeting that is aligned to yearly operational plans.
Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, who is also the NGF chairman, made the commitment at the forum’s meeting, held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governors, who attended the meeting included: Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Babagana Zulum (Borno), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (Kwara), Hope Uzodimma (Imo), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi) and Gboyega Oyetola (Osun).
Others are the deputy governors of Kogi, Edward Onoja; Oyo, Adebayo Lawal; Akwa Ibom, Moses Ekpo; Enugu, Cecilia Ezeilo and Bayelsa, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
Fayemi promised prompt release of approved budget to the state primary health care boards, and primary health care facilities.
NGF equally promised to engage the services of requisite health officers to ensure all primary health care facilities have minimum staff requirements, as appropriate, in line with states’ minimum service package.
He said: “On behalf of all of us, the 36 state governors, and members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, this is our statement of commitment to strengthening primary health care system in Nigeria.
“Following the induction to the Seattle Declaration by 36 governors of Nigeria in November 2019. The Nigeria Governors’ Forum, representing the 36 states of the Federation, hereby, affirms commitment to strengthen the primary health care system in the country.”
On his part, the Country Director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Jeremie Zoungrana, congratulated the governors for accepting to support and be part of the PHC Leadership Challenge Initiative.
Zoungrana said the PHC Challenge Fund represents a unique opportunity that will motivate and recognise ownership and leadership at the subnational level.
He said PHC health indicators would be tracked to support the NGF build governor-level accountability, improve performance management, and enhance investments in critical areas of PHC.”
On their parts, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President, Rev. Daniel Okoh, and Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, re-echoed the need to increase budgetary allocation to PHC.