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2024 Health Budget Allocation: States Disparities Revealed

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Stakeholders in the health sector have said that the 2024 budget by the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), revealed the varying prioritisation of healthcare services across Nigeria.

A comprehensive analysis of the budgets obtained from the states, showed that Kano, Kaduna, Yobe, Abia and Bauchi are on top of the list of states with higher health expenditure, allocating between 15.

0 per cent and 16.
5 per cent of their total budgets to healthcare initiatives.

However, concerns loom as some states significantly lag behind in their health budgets in line with the 2021 African Union (AU) Health Expenditure benchmark, otherwise known as Abuja Declaration.

 

Official statistics showed that Kwara, Ekiti and Niger allocated less than two per cent of their budgets to health, indicating potential challenges in healthcare accessibility and infrastructure development.

“Kwara State, for instance, allocated 0.17 per cent of its budget to health, signaling potential challenges in healthcare delivery and infrastructure development,” it revealed.

The stakeholders also applauded the states that met the 15 per cent healthcare budget and called for adequate funding of the health sector in the country.

According to them, the discrepancies emphasise the urgent need for a more equitable distribution of healthcare funding to ensure all citizens have access to quality healthcare services, regardless of their geographical locations.

Mrs Maimuna Abdullahi, a Health Economist, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), said that citizens in states with lower health budget allocations should demand their rights to better healthcare by taking several actions.

“Educate fellow citizens about the importance of healthcare funding and its impact on their well-being.

“Use social media, community meetings, and grassroots campaigns to spread awareness,” she said, adding that they should form advocacy groups focusing on healthcare issues.

These groups, she said, could organise rallies, petition government officials, and engage in advocacy to demand increased healthcare funding.

She said that the people should send correspondences or make phone calls to government representatives, to express concerns about low healthcare funding.

“Attend town hall meetings and public forums to directly address policymakers,” she said.

Corroborating earlier opinion, Mrs Tina Atala, a lawyer in the FCT, said that people at the grassroots should explore legal avenues such as filing lawsuits or seek legal advice to challenge inadequate healthcare funding.

Atala said that it was imperative for the people to mobilise collectively to demand for better healthcare services.

“This can involve organizing protests, signing petitions, or participating in community meetings with local leaders. Health is a fundamental human right of every Nigerian.

“They should work with media outlets to amplify the issue of low healthcare funding,” she advised.

She said that by taking collective action and advocating for their rights, people could pressure government officials to prioritise healthcare funding and ensure access to quality healthcare services for all.

Similarly; the health proposals in the 2024 federal budget that aim to enhance physical and mental health of Nigerian fall below the 2021 Abuja Declaration. 

The Federal Government has earmarked N1.502 trillion for healthcare services including provisions for the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, and other viable infrastructure and healthcre development programmes in the country. 

With a funding gap of N2.622 trillion, there were concerns regarding the sufficiency of the budget, especially given Nigeria’s high out-of-pocket health expenditure and challenges pose by macroeconomic indicators.

Inadequate funding, over-centralisation of resources and lack of transparency in the allocations, particularly the N57.392 billion for the “Immunisation plus and malaria progress by accelerating coverage and transforming services (impact)–immunisation” project, raised questions about efficient fund management and value for money. (NAN)

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Kano APC Suspends National Chairman, Ganduje Over Alleged Corruption

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The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has been suspended as a member of his ward in Kano. Reports says that the Executive members of Ganduje Ward In Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area of Kano state announced the suspension of Ganduje over alleged corruption on Monday.

Addressing newsmen in the state capital, the legal adviser of the Ganduje Ward, Haladu Gwanjo said the former Kano state governor is alleged to have committed gross misappropriation of public funds during his time as governor of the state.
According to him, the members decided to suspend the national chairman’s membership after a vote of no confidence was passed on him due to his inability to clear his name from various allegations of corruption against him, which range from the circulated dollar videos where he was allegedly collecting bribe from contractors.
He said the suspension takes effect from today 15 April.A viral video had captured Ganduje allegedly receiving bundles of dollar notes as a bribe from a man said to be a contractor and stuffing them in the pockets of his flowing gown.The video, which garnered widespread attention in 2017, has been the subject of intense scrutiny.Ganduje had denied the content of the video when it first surfaced and maintained his innocence but years after, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP)’s administration of Governor Abba Yusuf revisited the case, vowing the prosecute the ex-governor.The Kano High Court would arraign Ganduje on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 on charges bordering on allegations of bribery, diversion, and misappropriation of funds, including the purported acceptance of $413,000 and N1.38bn in bribes.The Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Haruna Dederi, had said Ganduje would be arraigned alongside his wife and six others.The Yusuf administration, which initiated the criminal suit against the eight respondents, had declared its readiness to present 15 witnesses to testify before Justice Usman Na’aba of State High Court.

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Q1:PTML Customs Rakes N66.9b, Surpasses 2023 Revenue

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The Port Terminal Multiservices Ltd. (PTML) Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has recorded N66.9 billion revenue in the first quarter of the year.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC), PTML Command, Comptroller, Saidu Yusuf, said this at a news conference in Lagos on Monday.

He said that the figure, which was N22.

19 billion higher than the N44.
72 billion recorded same period in 2023, represented 49.
6 per cent increase.

Yusuf described the increase in the revenue collection as a laudable feat.

According to him, the command is committed towards trade facilitation and supports the government’s drive on ease of doing business.

The comptroller thanked the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi, for initiating strategies to achieve faster cargo clearance.

He reiterated that PTML command, under his watch, aimed to surpass its record of three hour cargo clearance for compliant traders.

“The launching of Time Release Study (TRS), which is ongoing and other deliberate efforts by the Comptroller General, had contributed to the expansion of terminal space and promoted ease of doing business in PTML.

“PTML command has potentials to achieve two hour cargo clearance and surpass it’s existing three hours record if port users compliance level is improved upon.

“PTML is one of the safest and most secure environments for RoRo(Roll On Roll Off) and general cargoes,” Yusuf said.

He advised importer and their agents to take advantage of the incentives available for compliant traders such as fast track, advance ruling and possible migration to the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status.

He reminded port users in PTML of the robust and time conscious dispute resolution mechanism, which had contributed immensely to the revenue collection, trade facilitation and anti smuggling functions of the command.

Yusuf commended the various government and private sector stakeholders for their cooperation and support toward the realisation of the overnment goal of revenue collection and prevention of unlawful activities.

He also expressed optimism that the command would surpass it’s annual target for the year.

He described the importation of vehicles meant for Nigerian roads into nneighbouringcountries with the ntent to smuggle them through unapproved roads into Nigeria as unpatriotic and act of economic sabotage.

The PTLM customs boss said that the command had the capacity for seamless and efficient processing of such automobile cargoes.

The CAC enjoined officers of the command to maximally deploy available technology and rededicate themselves to the job to achieve more revenue for the second quoter.

He reminded the port users of the increased in anti-smuggling vigilance to uncover concealment such as under declaration and smuggling of prohibited items.

Yusuf said that any discovered infraction would lead to full evoking of the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA), where there were spelt out penalties. (NAN)

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EFCC Arraigns 5 for Illegal Crude Oil Deal

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, charged five defendants before a Federal High Court in Lagos, over an illegal deal in petroleum products.
The defendants are: Mt Vinnalaris (a vessel), Azeez Abubakar, Wisdom Borborley, Samuel Akpan and Freedom Otuagoma
They appeared before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on two counts bordering on unlawful deal in petroleum products.


After the charge was read to them, they pleaded guilty.

Following their plea, the prosecutor, Mr R.A. Abdurasheed, informed the court that the prosecution had filed the plea bargain agreement with the defendants, before the court.
Consequently, the court adjourned the case until April 25, for adoption of plea bargain agreement.

The court, however, ordered that the defendants remain in custody of the prosecution till then.
In the charge, the defendants were said to have committed the offence sometime in 2023, while on the Nigerian maritime domain.
They were alleged to have dealt in 515.8 litres of crude oil without lawful authority.
The offence contravenes the provisions of Section 1(17) and 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17 Law of the Federation 2004. (NAN)

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