The Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Wednesday, approved the sum of N6.07 trillion for a thorough and comprehensive overhaul of the Nigerian Health Sector.
Briefing journalists at the close of the weekly FEC meeting in the State House, Abuja, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said the amount was approved for the implementation of the second health sector plan earlier adopted at the National Health Council Meeting on June 21, 2018 in Kano.
According to the Minister, the first health sector plan was conceived by the last administration and was meant to be implemented between 2010 and 2015 with 52 targets. He however pointed out that of the 52 targets in the plan, only two were achieved at the end of the day.
He added that the inability to meaningfully implement the plan, resulted in the need for the conceptualization of this second health sector plan which he says would be implemented between 2018 and 2022 with 15 themes, 48 strategic objectives and 282 interventions.
Prof. Adewole said that the plan was meant to improve healthcare delivery in the country, and added that its implementation was expected to result in 31 per cent reduction in maternal mortality, 33 percent reduction in horizontal mortality and 29 percent reduction in under five percent mortality rate.
He said that the plan would include; overhaul of the primary healthcare system, upgrading of existing hospitals across the nation as well as infrastructure development.
He also listed the five strategic pillars of the plan, which also has 15 priority areas. The strategic pillars include; enabling environment for our attainment of health sector goods, increased utilisation of essential package of healthcare services, strengthening our health system, and protection from health emergencies as well as health financing.
His words, “There was an attempt to come up with a plan between 2010 and 2015. That plan had 52 targets but regrettably, we were only able to achieve two of the 52 targets. So, we spent a long time, trying to put in place the second plan.
“So, it took us about two years to get this second plan done. It involves all states of the federation. It includes the Federal Capital Territory, and our development partners participated in the presentation and the approval of the plan.
“The plan was approved at the National Council on Health meeting that took place in Kano on June 21, 2018. The plan essentially has five strategic pillars and 15 priority areas. The five strategic pillars include: enabling environment for our attainment of health sector good, increased utilisation of essential package of healthcare services, strengthening our health system, and protection from health emergencies as well as health financing.
“In total, this new plan has 15 thematic areas, 48 strategic objectives and 282 interventions that will help us to really improve the healthcare delivery that will offer our people. What is important is the stakeholder and strong health sector wide participation of states in the presentation.
“We went through a five-stage process. The states went to develop their plans. The federal developed ours. We came together, harmonised all the plans and we brought everybody together to validate and adopt the plan and then moved on to Kano for implementation.
“The entire projects meant for over five years will cost us over N6.071 trillion and we believe that if this funding is done, if the plans are implemented faithfully, we will achieve a 31 per cent reduction in maternal mortality. We will achieve 33 percent reduction in horizontal mortality and we will achieve under five percent mortality reduction of 29 per cent.
“We are quite confident that this plan will usher Nigeria into a new era, and council in its wisdom, approved this plan for implementation. So, the next thing now, will be to ask the states to commence implementation. Federal will commence, and we will go to NEC and Governors’ Forum to secure the buy-in of the governors so that this plan can be faithfully implemented.”
In other related matters, the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri, said the FEC approved N5 billion for the construction of a 48-kilometre Abak-Eket road in Akwa Ibom State.
He also said FEC approved N1.097 billion for the augmentation of the cost of constructing N28 billion Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja road section one, adding that the council also approved N78 million for the design, finance and operation of 750 kilowatts of power generation facility.
Shehuri also disclosed that FEC approved additional N73 million to the initial N1.2 billion for the construction of a bridge in Samaila Local Government area of Kano State.