Stakeholders in the health sector have appealed to the Accountant General (AG) of the Federation to urgently release the budget approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) through the service-wide vote of the approved federal budget, for the purchase of the family planning products for USD 4 million.
The stakeholders made the call as part of their recommendations at the end of a two-day retreat to review concepts of national and state scorecards on the RMNCAEH+N recovery plan and COVID-19 and Health Security Accountability, championed by the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN ), in Lagos.
The RMNCAEH+N Recovery Plan during the COVID-19 Accountability Scorecard has been developed through a thorough analysis of the federally-approved 2022 budget, review and validation meetings, and independent monitoring of the activities of the RMNCAEH+N National Multi-national. Stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform.
The three-category scorecard should serve as a piece of evidence to be used by all stakeholders, including civil society, media, lawyers, youth and development partners, to strategically influence actions that enhance performance, transparency and accountability in the implementation of Nigeria’s Promote RMNCAEH+. N Continuity Response Plan (2020-2022) during COVID-19
The scorecard reported three categories including Governance and Leadership, Budget Allocation and Payout; Accountability and transparency.
The stakeholders further urged the RMNCAEH+N platform to formalize the participation of civil society organizations and youth voters with clear roles and modalities of involvement. They also recommended that civil society organizations and youth representatives on the RMNCAEH+N platform strengthen meaningful engagement with their constituencies through formal channels for input and feedback.
Other recommendations made by stakeholders include the creation of a dedicated page on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies where information on budgetary expenditures and expenditures can be viewed and that civil society organizations, youth and media should inform the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Finance and donor community to drive joint efforts to strengthen the RMNCAEH+N platform and support the implementation of the recovery plan.
“The NGOs, advocates and other critical stakeholders need to find a way to engage with the government and the Ministry of Finance, especially the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) for the release of approved budgets.
“They’re here. There’s no point in leaving money without releasing it for its intended purpose.
“This retreat is an opportunity for us to appeal to the government to emphasize the need to release this money.
“At least, before the end of this year, we should have those releases so that the health sector will improve,” said Mohammed Usman, president of National Advocates for Health (NA4H).
“Investments in family planning are an investment in saving the lives of women and children and lead to prosperity for all. Family planning is therefore critical to achieving sustainable development goals that aim to end poverty and improve well-being and health…it is also key to ending hunger and promoting gender equality. Therefore, a country with such a population as Nigeria should immediately allocate the budget for the purchase of family planning products (FP),’ said Dr Aminu Magashi Garba, the coordinator of Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN).