Nigeria: The Latest 20 ‘Hidden’ Destinations of Purported Health Spendings in the 2020 Proposed Budget
As the table above illustrates, some of the funds are genuinely targeted to address special health issues such as immunization and HIV/AIDs. Other important health allocations in the budget are the national health insurance scheme; the allocation of N2.24 billion to the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA); the N82.7 billion Federal Government’s contribution to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the special budget of N723 million to the State House Medical Centre.
In the same vein, some N11.74 billion NHIS fund is allocated to military retirees, as well as the GAVI Immunization project worth N22.73 billion, plus “the Global Fund Counterpart funding, including refund to GAVI” with the budget of N5.5 billion.
The ‘Breakdown of Budget’ chart shows the categorization of these health budgets to non-health agencies.
The chart shows that allocation for hospitals (or health centre) is N7.77 billion (N7,774,719,768); N2.53 billion for Drugs and medical supplies; N194.06 million for Medical Consulting; and N4.3 billion for Medical Expenses.
The purchase of health/medical equipment across ministries had N26.64 billion. A total of N4.05 billion (N4,055,919,099) for rehabilitation/repairs of Hospitals and Health Centres.
Implications of the extra 171.15 billion
DATAPHYTE’s first analysis of the allotted funds to the Health sector through the Ministry of Health showed the federal government proposed 427.3 billion naira. This is only 4.14% of the proposed budget for 2020 as budgetary allocation to the Federal Ministry of Health. The report decried the government’s N44.50 billion allocation to the Basic Health Care Fund (BHCF) as against the right allocation which was estimated to be N103.3 billion. This estimate is a 1% measure of the 2020 Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of N10.33 trillion.
You will recall that N44.50 billion allocation to BHCF violates the National Health Act (2014). The Act stipulates that at least one per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) must be allocated to BHCF.
The sum of extra health budgets in related and unrelated MDAs, as shown above, is 171,146,082,086. This amount added to the Ministry of Health’s budget of N424,022,751,254 would come to N594.17 billion (595,168,833,340).
Even if this is considered an increase in federal government’s total commitment to health from 4.14 per cent to 5.75 per cent, yet the value is quite low for Nigeria considering the troubling health indicators.
A brief overview of these other MDAs shows that The Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute got over one billion naira. Also, the Nigeria Intelligence Agency received N969 million. The federal Ministry of Niger Delta got 480 million.
The Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA), 163 million. The new Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs also got N150 million to rehabilitate hospital. Other agencies were: the EFCC with N12 million. Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission got N100 million.
Overall, the budgeting process in the country still requires a more robust needs assessment. Despite the incessant budget scrutiny by civil society organizations, the Nigerian government continues to allocate projects funds to wrong ministries and agencies of government. This violates the basic principles of budgeting and public contracting and might explain the unending corruption in the implementation of government projects.