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National Assembly to increase Health budget to N1.1tr from N304bn

The budgetary allocation to the country's health sector would be increased to 15 percent in line with the 2001 African Union Abuja declaration, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Senator Lanre Tejuosho (APC, Ogun) said on Wednesday. Addressing newsmen on the budget of the Health sector in Abuja, he said the budget would be increased to enable the country's address the challenges bedeviling the health sector.

" There shall be increased appropriation by the National Assembly to the health sector in line with the African Union Abuja declaration of 2001,which recommends a minimum of 15 percent of total annual budget to be dedicated to health, "he said. Our correspondent reports that the Ministry of Health and the 115 health related parastatals under it were allocated N304billion by the executive in the 2017 budget.

If the National Assembly implement the 15 percent declaration, the sector will get N1.2trillion of the 2017 N7.3trillion budget. He identified poor budgetary allocations as the bane of the country's health sector.

" The 8th National Assembly is committed to improving health conditions, health standards and service delivery through realistic appropriation and judicious utilization, driven by legislative oversight, "he said.

He also said that the National Assembly would ensure that the provision of the National Health Act, 2014, which stipulates that 1 percent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) be dedicated to the Health sector is adhered to in the 2017 budget. Tejuosho said they would initiate a legislation to make NHIS mandatory to all Nigerians to enable them have access to at least primary health care facilities.

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