Senate slams health minister over disjointed budget figures




The Senate committee on Health frowned at 2021 budget performance presentation made by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, at the National Assembly in Abuja Monday.
The commitee described the documents presented by the Minister on capital releases  as deficient and disjointed.

 

While the Minister in his presentation, put the capital releases at 21%, the commitee members said it should be higher than that if loans and grants from development partners were included.


Specifically, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC Kwara Central), said going by information gathered during oversight visitation to the Ministry of Finance, capital releases to the Ministry of Health should be about 62% by the end of last month.
“The  National Assembly had in 2021 informed the minister of finance to reflect loans or grants given to the ministry which were not reflected in the presentation made,” he said.
He specifically accused the Minister of failing to report the N26billion loan and grants from donor partners, which the minister however denied knowledge of.

On the implementation of the Basic health care provision fund 2018-2021,  the report as presented by the minister shows  that  45% goes to primary health care , 50% to health insurance , and 5% to emergency medical services, which  the minister says will be rolled out in Abuja  soon .

Senator Chukwuka  Utazi (PDP Enugu North), faulted the minister for appropriating 5% funds of the Basic health care provision fund to a non-existent  agency , which  he says is against the  constitution.

In her own contribution, Senator Betty  Apiafi , suggested that since the percentage of fund released  given by the Minister  is incorrect,  the entire budget document  is incorrect.

The committee therefore mandated the minister to effect the corrections on   issues raised by the lawmakers  on the document and report back on  Tuesday with  evidence of all funds released to the ministry from 2018 till date.

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