Minister cautions against misappropriation of intervention funds

Gloria Essien, Abuja

The Nigerian Minister of Health, Prof. Isacc  Adewole has advised Health Commissioners in the North -East to carefully utilise the save one million lives funds given to them  by the Federal Govenment in Abuja , to enable them receive more funds in the second phase of the programme in 2017.

The Minister alerted the Health Commissioners while speaking at the operational meeting of the save one million lives programme organised for the Commissioners of Health of Bauchi, Gombe Taraba, Adamawa and Borno  held in Maiduguri, Borno State.

Speaking during the meeting, the minister said: “Today I am to share knowledge with you on how you can derive maximum benefits from the save one million lives initiatives. I am impressed with your presence, however, I must say it clearly that the money given to you should not replace your budget for health , rather  it is an addition, it is to augment, do not allow it to be the only budget for health in your state.”

“I hope we can still score you on your budgetary allocation on health, how much do you budget for health, how much do you release, how do you utilise it, how many lives do you save, how do you improve governance structure among others,” he stressed.

Adewole said that the save one million lives initiative gives room for practical assessment of health performance and determines whether state government  would be able to receive more funds in the next coming year or otherwise. He added that if there is no performance, there would be no reward and the reward is money, it means there would be no additional money to the state.

The Minister urged State Governors to allow States Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) to manage the resources. According to him, Primary Healthcare is closer to the people and therefore channelling the resources in to PHC would enable the end users access the resources easily.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Haj. Binta Adamu Bello said that they organised the programme in Borno to show to the world that peace has actually returned to Borno and North- East in general which was a’ clear manifestation of great achievement of President Muhammadu Buhari.

She said ‘save one million lives programme for result was a new strategy that have been employed to save lives of mothers and children and is in line with change mantra of the present administration. The Programme has great benefits and multiplier effects such as accessibility and utilisation of high impact essential commodities and services, consequently reduce maternal and child mortality in Nigeria.

It should be recalled that in July 2016 Federal Government presented a cheque of 1.5 million US Dollars each to the 36 states of the federation and FCT to improve maternal and child health in their states.