Make Health budget public, rights coalition, media tell govt.
Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 6 April 2017 | 2,293 times
Governments at all levels have been urged to make health budget information available to the public to strengthen accountability, transparency, participatory democracy and also engender public trust.
Coalition of Civil Society Organisations and the media from Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Bauchi and the Federal Capital Territory, made the appeal on Thursday, at the end of two day media parley in Abuja on Reportage of 2017 Health Sector Budget for States and National.
They observed that Nigerians do not get adequate information on budget allocation, releases and expenditure
The Coalitions which comprises of Accountability Mechanism for MNCH in Kano State (AMMKaS), Bauchi State Accountability Mechanism on MNCH (BaSAM), Coalition for Maternal Health in Niger State (COMiN), Kaduna MNCH Accountability Mechanism (KaDMAM) and Track Health National Accountability Mechanism (TNAM), with support from Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR) in its Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH) project are advocating for improved transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s health budget process.
A joint statement issued by Ndidi Chukwu, the coalition’s representative, charged the government to be more transparent in sharing health budget information to the public.
In reference to 2016 health budget performance and lack of access to information and the status of implementation, the coalition observed that health budget performance have been poor and often not made available to the public.
The group also charged journalists in Nigeria to champion the course of ensuring that people have access to the right information regarding the performance of the health sector budget at the states and national level.
“During the training, concerns were also raised over the inability of ministries of health, finance and budget and planning and other relevant parastatals to collaborate with the media to enhance public access to information on health sector financing,” Ms. Chukwu said.
The coalition also observed that stakeholders need to collaborate with the media in order to achieve the desired objectives.
They advised journalists to be alive to their responsibilities of information dissemination for national development.
Participants were drawn from both the print and broadcast media to build media capacity and brainstorm on how to educate the public on issues surrounding the implementation of health budgets at all levels of governance.
•Photo shows the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations and the media from Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Bauchi and the Federal Capital Territory at the two day media parley in Abuja on Reportage of 2017 Health Sector Budget for States and National.