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NGF advocates more funding for basic health care

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum, has advocated increased funding from one percent to three per ent for basic health care provision to achieve Universal Health Coverage

The Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Sokoto state, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, made the call at a high-level forum on SDGs panel discussion on the “Universal Coverage and the Basic Health Fund” on the side-lines of the 28th Nigerian Economic Summit.

He explained that inadequate funding and human resource, as well as insecurity were the major challenges facing the effective implementation of the Basic Primary Health Care Fund (BPHC) and  increase in the burden of out-of-pocket expenses for health services.

“That is another solution to the constraints of funding and then the private sector participation in funding and all partners that are in healthcare should possibly give some funding to the primary health care projects that we are carrying out in all of our states. Insecurity is a collective efforts as the federal government and states are doing their best to ensure that we stem the tide so it’s an ongoing efforts”, he said

He further noted the critical need to improve the packaging and welfare of medical personnel both at the federal and state levels to arrest the problem and challenge of brain drain in Nigeria.

On her part, the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed said a framework had been designed to monitor and ensure accountability in the disbursement and utilization of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund by states and HMOs.

Also, Director and Secretary, Ministerial Oversight Committee, BHCPF, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu revealed that based on available statistics, one trillion naira was needed annually to effectively cover the basic health care of Nigerians and advised state government to be committed to their counter-part funding for the health sector.

Panel on eradicating learning deprivation

The Centre for Policy Innovation Centre, PIC, an, initiative of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group, says there exist 92% learning deprivation rates for children in the six geo-political zones which has affected foundational literacy of basic education.

The Deputy Director of the Center, Dr Osasuyi Dirisu, made this known during the interactive panel session on Eradicating Learning Deprivation at the 28th session of the Nigerian Economic Summit.

She listed factors that contributed to the high rate of learning deprivation to include poverty, which had resulted in parents engaging their children in income generating activities to support the home.

“Sometime issues like the lack of infrastructure in the school, poor teacher competency and basic amenities such as toilets. Other drivers include poor nutrition, issues relating to communicable diseases, and the negative belief system as some parents do not see the value of education. Probably because they were not educated themselves due to cultural or social norms within their context,” she said.

The Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi stressed the need for state governments to prioritize education and ensure improved enumeration for teachers.

On her part, UNICEF Country Representative, Ms Cristian Munduate, said there was the need to strengthen and enforced public education to increase enrolment of children from all strata of the society.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Investments, Mrs. Maryam Uwais advocated the popularization of Non-formal education especially at the grassroots and core Ruga settlements.

Reporting by Azizatu Sani; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu