Budget 2017: Oyo assembly promises public participation

The Oyo State House of Assembly has promised to work in collaboration with relevant stakeholders in the health sector to ensure meaningful inputs and transparency in the 2017 Appropriation Bill.

The Speaker, Mr Michael Adeyemo, said this during a courtesy call on his office by a civil society organisation, the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON) on Monday in Ibadan.

Adeyemo said that the legislative arm truly appreciated the importance of budgetary provisions in addressing some of the health challenges in the state.

“The Eighth Assembly recognises the importance of the health system in shaping the economy and societal development. Providing enabling policies and adequate fund mobilisation is critical to health care delivery.

“The house recently passed the Health Insurance Agency and the Violence against Women Prohibition Bills, which was stonewalled in the previous assembly,” he said.

Adeyemo said that working in collaboration with civil society groups would give room for proper scrutiny and enhance the effectiveness of the budget.

Earlier, Dr Emmanuel Abanida, the Executive Secretary of the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON), appealed to the house on collaborative efforts with relevant stakeholders in the health sector.

Abanida said that recognising their role in legislations would give room for meaningful contributions and wider consultations.

“We want to ensure that the state government gives proper attention to the health sector. Health is an important factor in economic development and poverty eradication.

“Increased allocation will also help the country to achieve the UN SDG Goal 3 which is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” he said.

He called for the passage of state level laws and policies to back family planning programme.

“Research has shown that effective family planning programme has been able to reduce maternal mortality rate by 40 per cent. We need adequate budgeting for family planning to facilitate accessibility and reduce the cost of family planning services,” he said.

According to him, budgetary provision for family planning in the state will increase the use of contraceptives.

“I wish to express our profound gratitude to the leadership of this house in demonstrating humility and willingness to address issues that have to do with women and children,” he said.

Meanwhile, advocates under the aegis of Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFAH) have said inflation and increasing population have really affected the health sector allocation in Oyo State in the last decade.

The group, at a one-day validation meeting to analysis health sector budgeting for the state between 2006 and 2016, stated that it aimed to sustain advocacy with policy makers to ensure that the health sector is prioritised in the 2017 budget.