The Honourable Minister for Budget and National Planning ,Senator Abubakar Bagudu, has said that the federal government is exploring ways of improving support for the country’s health sector financing through an anticipated increase in its revenue.

According to him, the government is aiming to increase its revenue as a proportion of GDP by at least 80% over the next three years and this will translate to more articulate ways of doing better in supporting healthcare finance when this projection becomes reality.

Senator Bagudu made this known recently in Abuja, when he met Gavi Alliance Delegates and other health development partners to discuss sustainable Immunization financing, in light of the Accountability Framework.

While responding to the appeal for more budgetary allocation for the health sector, the Minister promised that the Social Development Department of the Ministry would continue to work with the Primary Health Care Development Agency and other health agencies to ensure that national budgetary provisions were adequate for the health sector.

He added that inline with the directive of the President, the Minister of Health and the Coordinating Minister of Social Welfare would explore innovative and sustainable ways, through which Nigeria could expand the health sector and even social welfare finances.

He assured the visitors that the federal government would not renege on its commitment towards its counterpart funding for vaccines provision when due, insisting that an accountability framework remained key in tracking the impact and progress of every initiative and partnerships by the federal government.

The Minister sought the possibility of domesticating the production of health vaccines in Nigeria or in carrying out research that could help enhance vaccine independence and also commitment to ensure that there was consistent availability of vaccination.

In his words: “We have to migrate to independence and independent financing. So while appreciating again all that GAVI has done and indeed the partners, we are quite cognizant of the need to generate more independence while even counting on continued support, probably, technically.

“Here in the Ministry, we are custodians of the national plan and our agenda 2050 which is an agenda that contains the consensus between both the federal and the sub nationals. We recognize the importance of a vibrant healthcare system and what you have been supporting us for. However, we recognize in our planning process that we can only be supported so far.”

In his remarks, David Marlow, the interim CEO GAVI re-emphasized the importance of the partnership which the organization had with Nigeria, saying that the partnership which started way back in 2002, had witnessed the commitment of up to 2.3 billion U.S. dollars to Nigeria through the vaccine purchase and health care support programs.

He said that with the huge financial commitment through the partnership between the organization and Nigeria, it was important that an accounting framework be put in place to monitor the progress and the impact that the partnership was making in the country.

He highlighted some encouraging trends in some of the immunization already carried out in the country, citing the instance of the recently launched HPV vaccine that had reached 4.5 million young women between October till date.

The Gavi representative appreciated Nigeria’s commitment and consistent fulfillment of the Gavi co-financing obligations, saying that the federal government had met its co-financing obligations for Gavi-supported vaccines.

He sought the Honourable Minister’s cooperation on how to make progress in making sure that Nigeria would not default to deliver on the commitments already made in its co-financing share and for the timely release of funds as at when due.

While saying that Nigeria had met its financing needs in the last four years, the Gavi representative advocated that the timely release of funds for vaccines be institutionalized and made easier going forward.

The ED/National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Muyi Aina, recalled that the Nigeria Strategy for Immunization and PHD System Strengthening Accountability Framework was put together first in 2018 by the Government of Nigeria led by the Ministry of Health, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Gavi, and other partners.

While saying that vaccination should be seen as part of the health agenda of the government, he advocated for more funding for the health sector, saying that 15% of the total government budget should go to the health sector.


Olude Omolade
FOR; Director Information