President Bola Tinubu has emphasized his administration’s commitment to enhancing Nigeria’s health sector by making substantial investments and increasing budget allocations in the proposed 2024 budget. The President made this announcement during the introduction of Nigeria’s Health Sector Renewal Investment Initiative and the endorsement of the Health Renewal Compact by Federal, State Governments, and Development Partners in Abuja on Tuesday, as part of the activities commemorating Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day, observed annually on December 12,leadership reports.
In a statement delivered by his spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, President Tinubu stated, “Delivering improved quality health is a foundational aspect of my promise of Renewed Hope to Nigerians. Today, that hope is reignited with the support of all multilateral partners and agencies; health is once again a top priority.”
The President underscored the significance of primary healthcare in building a resilient, integrated healthcare system and disclosed plans for a comprehensive overhaul of physical infrastructure, equipment, and the retraining of frontline health workers starting from 2024. To address the exorbitant cost of healthcare, President Tinubu revealed intentions to redesign the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) to improve access to essential healthcare services in accordance with the National Health Act (2014).
President Tinubu emphasized the non-partisan nature of coordinating and implementing these initiatives. The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, highlighted key policy actions, explaining that the BHCPF has been revamped as the foundational basis for a sector-wide approach. He added that the BHCPF, constituting at least 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, is expected to receive a minimum of $2.5 billion in pooled and non-pooled financing from 2024 to 2026 to enhance the primary health system nationwide.
Prof. Pate outlined plans to double the number of fully functional Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) from 8,809 to 17,618 by 2027 across all states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). He stressed the importance of transparent reporting, with the federal government committing to making resource allocation, releases, and results transparent to all stakeholders.
The Coordinating Minister also acknowledged the political will of the Tinubu administration, reflected in the increased allocation in the proposed 2024 budget for health and social welfare sectors. He expressed gratitude for the significant investments in health infrastructure, equipment, critical commodities for hospitals, the expansion of health insurance, and enhanced attention to the welfare of the health workforce.
In response to rising pharmaceutical prices, Prof. Pate announced the federal government’s plan to establish a mechanism for the pooled procurement of critical pharmaceuticals in 2024, aiming to lower costs and ensure quality. Additionally, he affirmed President Tinubu’s initiative to boost the healthcare value chain, reducing dependency on external markets and fostering local production of generic drugs, medical devices, and vaccines over time.