By Philip Yatai

The Kaduna Maternal Accountability Mechanism (KADMAM), has commended the Kaduna State Government, for allocating N59 billion to the health sector.

The amount represents 15.9 per cent of the proposed 2023 budget of N370.3 billion before the state’s House of Assembly for consideration.

KADMAM is a dialogue platform between government and citizens’ groups working to ensure transparency and accountability in the delivery of health sector programmes and projects.

The Citizen’s Co-Chair of the mechanism, Malam Mustapha Jumare gave the commendation in Kaduna during a public hearing on the proposed budget, organised by the State House of Assembly.

The event was supported by the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), a governance programme of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Jumare said that the 15.9 per cent allocation demonstrates the government’s commitment to improving the health of the citizens”.

“However, in spite of these commendable efforts by the state government, we did observe that the budgetary provisions for the State Primary Health Care Board (SPHCB) were reduced by 9.02 per cent.

“This is worrisome because its capital budget was reduced by 26 per cent and overhead by 12.6 per cent.

“We are also worried that the allocation for family planning was reduced by 10.11 per cent, compared to the 2022 budget estimate.

“This is worrisome, given the place of family planning in the prevention of maternal mortality rate,” he said.

He, therefore, urged the lawmakers to critically look into the concerns to improve the health needs of the citizens and the state economy in general.

Responding, the Deputy speaker of the Assembly, Mr Isaac Auta, who presided over the hearing, acknowledged the concerns, and assured Kaduna residents that they would be looked into.

NAN further reports that a breakdown of the health sector proposed allocation shows that N14.9 billion was allocated for recurrent expenditure and N44.1 billion for capital expenditure.

A further analysis of the budget document shows that the amount was N20.5 billion more than the N38.5 per cent revised budget allocated in 2022, representing 53.1 per cent increase.

Out of the N59 billion allocated to the sector, N37.9 billion was allocated to the Ministry of Health, made up of N6.7 billion recurrent and N31.9 billion for capital budget.

The State Primary Health Care Board got N7.9 billion with N3.3 billion for recurrent and N4.6 billion for capital expenditure, while Kaduna State AIDS Control Agency got N15.9 million.

The government allocated a total of N1.97 billion to the State Contributory Health Management Authority, with N1.91 allocated for capital expenditure and N54.9 million for recurrent expenditure.

A total of N3.5 billion was allocated to the State Health Supplies Management Agency, with N3.4 billion going to capital projects and N79.9 million for recurrent.

Also, N1.3 billion was budgeted for the State College of Nursing and Midwifery, with N840.1 million allocated for capital projects and N460.9 million for recurrent expenditure.

Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital of the Kaduna State University got N5.9 billion with N1.7 billion earmarked for capital expenditure and N4.3 billion for recurrent.

The government allocated N464.5 million to the Bureau for Substance Abuse, Prevention and Treatment, with N414.6 million earmarked for capital projects.

Meanwhile, the 3rd Quarter Budget Performance Report for 2022 revised budget shows that of the N38.1 billion allocated to the sector, N22 billion has been spent from January to September.

This represents 57.8 per cent performance, leaving a variance of N16 billion. (NAN)