Thought Leadership

HEALTH in Mr Presidents budget

The 2009 Budget as presented by Mr President to the National Assembly 2nd of December.

The full text can be read here:

Health was mentioned in a few places….find a summary below.

….The 2009 Federal Budget is to deliver on our promises to reduce poverty and attain our Millennium Development Goals.

…By investing in human capital development through education and healthcare delivery, we can create a better future for the next generation.

…Health to get N39.6billion (~$214M) out of the N796.7 billion for Capital Expenditure (~5% of capital budget)…

…This includes….N6.5billion on the sector’s response to HIV/AIDS, N3billion on Midwifery Services Scheme, N7.7billion on maternal and children’s health, and N6billion on polio eradication;

…The Ministry of Health is completing the modernisation of the Teaching Hospitals in Calabar, Awka and Ife ; completing the modernisation of 7 Specialist Hospitals in Kaduna , Lagos , Kano , Calabar, Enugu , Maiduguri and Abeokuta ; and scaling up investment in its polio eradication programme.

The one disapointing aspect of the allocations to health was the lack of targets for the Ministry to deliver.

For whatever they are worth …these appeared in other sectors as:

the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources will increase land under cultivation by 5%…

this Administration can deliver 6000 MW of power by the end of 2009.

…complete the construction and rehabilitation of 3,293km length of roads.

even the NIGERIAN POLICE have a target to reduce crime by 40% in 7 cities over the next year!!! (dont ask me how this will be measured …or who will be doing the measuring…the police ??? :))

For the health sector….nothing…just spend!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

By Chikwe Ihekweazu

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

4 replies on “HEALTH in Mr Presidents budget”

Who will set the targets?

The non-existent Minister of Health or a leader we don’t even know his state of health?

What would be the indices?

From what we now know, they just spend what they can on a few hospitals and then share the rest at Christmas/Sallah.

As long as high level corruption and lack of forward planning perisist coupled with inept leadership and docile followership, no meaningful achievement would be made in the area of health or in deed in any other sector. It is not really the amount or proportion of the budget invested in health that matters to me though there are recommendations from world bodies to that regard, it is the sincerity of the leadership to channel the little fund they were allocated to meaningful use and not to covert 99.9% of the funds to personal use and use 0.1% of the funds to do some substandard job.
I believe we can focus on our numerous problems one at a time. Take for example establishing a robust primary health care system which forms the bedrock of orthodox medical practice; tackiling malaria and HIV/AIDS and the like.
Our medical colleagues who are at the helms of affairs at the tertiary hospitals have really failed the system. The way these hospitals are managed need a massive overhaul. I think we should adopt the system obtainable in the Western world whereby the hospital administrators are people who are well versed in management not physicians who spent most of their times in medical schools, the wards and theatres and know little about management. There are still some good doctor-managers though.

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