The Minister of State for Health, Hon. Joseph Nkama has urged Chief Medical Directors of Federal Teaching Hospitals, Medical Centres and heads of Parastatals and Agencies under the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitement to the health sector is reflected in their 2023 budget.
Nkama gave the charge while delivering his keynote address at a Bilateral session with health sector’s agencies on 2023 budget preparation organised by the finance and accounts department of the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja.
He noted that budget was the lifeline of every ministry and without it, nothing would be achieved.
Also, Nkama reminded the constellation of key stakeholders from the Federal Ministry of Health and Budget Office that the onerous task of preparing a physical document that will guarantee effective healthcare planning and delivery to Nigerians had been given to them.
He therefore, expressed confidence that they would execute the assignment with critical precision.
The Minister who defined Budget as an estimate of projected expenditure promised on expected income over a period of time, added, “For us in the Ministry of Health, this is critical to the success of effective healthcare financing and delivery in the year ahead.
“We therefore look forward to a budget that would reflect Mr. President’s commitement to effective implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2021-2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as detailed by the World Health Organisation”, he said.
Stating guidelines for the 2023 health budget, Nkama said, “in view of the NDP and the SDG objectives, the next year’s budget should take ample cognizance of the following: Establishing a strong foundation for a diversified economy, Investing in critical physical, financial, digital and innovative Infrastructure.
“Building a solid framework and enhancing capacities to strengthen and ensure good governance, enabling a vibrant, educated and healthy populace”.
Furthermore, he assured them that the Federal Ministry of Health in conjunction with the relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) would upscale financial prudence geared towards quality and effective healthcare system in the country.
“Let me reaffirm our commitement to work together with mutual support from each other to deliver on priorities that will lead the health sector to amiable heights.
“I want to plead with us that this training, meeting, discussion all embodied in one package is a learning process and it is a research process, it is also a means of conveying to the management things that have been formulated as policies that would better the system.
“However, I want to ask you to marry your Public Procurement Act. There is a saying, ‘the ignorance of the law is no excuse’. The law is broad and deeper than what you can get in a day’s training.
“I urge you to get them, read them, let them become a part of you, so there wouldn’t be a scenario where you will say ‘I did not know of this’. This I appeal because I know it will enhance your work, it will guide you and set you on a pedestrian that you will be able to guide yourself, your CMDs and whoever that is relating with you properly on what you do everyday”, the Health Boss said.
He also advised them to cut down on unnecessary expenses and prioritise the things they know were very important and in turn improve the system in terms of budget planning, project execution inspection and monitoring.
An Expert at the training urged the participants to, in view of the country’s financial state, cut down on unnecessary expenses, reduce foreign trips and trainings, complete previous projects before starting new ones and also ensure government get value for whatever they procure.
Objectives of the capacity building session include to expose participants to: strategies for revenue generation for government agencies and parastatals, promote public accountability and fiscal transparency, Understanding the federal government budget and budgetary process and Understanding the modern methodologies of projects inspection and robust strcategies for revenue generation in the sector.