Stakeholders task federal government with $4 million budget for family planning
Health sector stakeholders have called on the federation’s accountant general to release the $4 million budget approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) through a service-wide vote for the purchase of family planning products.
Stakeholders made the call as part of their recommendations at the end of a two-day retreat to review draft national and state dashboards on the RMNCAEH+N and COVID-19 recovery plan and accountability in health security, championed by the African Health Budget Network (AHBN), in Lagos.
The Coordinator, AHBN, Dr. Aminu Magashi, in a statement released yesterday, said the recovery plan for RMNCAEH+N during the COVID-19 Accountability Dashboard was developed through rigorous analysis of the budget approved by the federal government for 2022, review and validation meetings and independent oversight of RMNCAEH+N activities
National multi-stakeholder partnership coordination platform.
Stakeholders further urged the RMNCAEH+N platform to formalize the participation of CSOs and youth groups with clear roles and modalities of engagement. They also recommended that CSOs and youth representatives on the RMNCAEH+N platform build meaningful engagement with their constituencies through formal channels for input and feedback.
They recommended the creation of a dedicated page on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies where information on budget releases and expenditures could be viewed and for CSOs, youth and the media to engage. the Federal Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance and the donor community should galvanize collaborative efforts to strengthen the RMNCAEH+N platform and support the implementation of the recovery plan.
“NGOs, advocates and other key stakeholders need to find a way to talk to government and the Ministry of Finance, especially the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) for the release of approved budgets.
“They are there. It makes no sense to leave money aside without releasing it to be used for the purpose for which it is intended.
“This retreat is an opportunity for us to challenge the government by emphasizing that these sums must be released.
“At least before the end of this year, we should have these releases so that the health sector will be improved,” said the Hon. Mohammed Usman, President, National Advocates for Health (NA4H).
“Investments in family planning save the lives of women and children and lead to prosperity for all. Family planning is therefore essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals that aim to end poverty and improve well-being and health…it is also essential to ending hunger and promoting gender equality . This is why a country as populous as Nigeria must quickly release the budget for the procurement of family planning (FP) commodities,” Magashi said.