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The Federal Government through the Ministry of Health has disbursed N12.7 billion of the N55 billion consolidated revenue appropriated in the 2018 budget for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

The fund is a fundamental funding provision provided under the National Health Act but was only appropriated in 2018 for the first time since the Act was signed in 2014.

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Concise News understands that the Coordinator, Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), Aminu Magashi, disclosed this during a technical session with health journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

Magashi said the money has already been disbursed as contained in the 2018 appropriation bill.

He said the fund was disbursed on May 17 before the dissolution of the last federal cabinet.

He said another tranche will be disbursed between August and September.

A breakdown of the disbursement shows that 50 percent (N6.5 billion) went to National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) got 45 percent (N5.8 billion) and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) 2.5 percent (N327 Million).

Garba also noted that another 25 percent of the budgeted fund has been paid into the account of the Ministry of Health for further disbursement.

“This money has been disbursed to the three agencies and more money will be disbursed in August and September. We were also informed that another 25 percent has already been allocated to the account of the Federal Ministry of Health,” he said.

He, therefore, requested the agencies to make the public know how they have utilized the releases for the benefit of the ordinary people.

“They are the gatekeepers to the Nigerian people so they have to tell us what they are using the money for. The money given to them should be used for drugs at the Primary Healthcare centers, for immunization, infrastructure development, life-saving drugs for pregnant women and toilets in PHCs.

“It is a big shame that most PHCs lack good convenience for both staff and patients. The money for NCDC should be used for emergency preparedness for disease outbreak so the heads of agencies should not complain about lack of funds,” he said.