A Professor of Biochemistry at the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Prof. Emeka Iweala, has advised the Federal Government to increase its annual budgetary allocation to the health sector.
Mr Iweala, who is also a Director, Covenant Applied Informatics and Communication, Africa Centre of Excellence (CApiC-ACE), gave the advice during an interview on Tuesday in Ota, Ogun.
President Bola Tinubu increased the allocation to the health sector in this year’s budget to N1.3 trillion from N1.17 trillion in 2023, representing 4.6 per cent increase.
The don noted that the N1.3 trillion allocated to the health sector in the 2024 budget was not enough.
“The Federal Government needs to adopt the minimum standard stated by the World Health Organisation so that the nation can have a better health sector,” he said.
Mr Iweala appealed to the government to make efforts to increase the annual allocation to the health sector to improve the overall wellbeing of Nigerians.
He added that this would reduce capital flight due to foreign medical treatments, adding that such funds could be used to improve the healthcare system across the country.
WHO specifies that at least 15 per cent of yearly national budgets should be allocated to health, and this was ratified by the African Union countries in Abuja in April 2001.
The Abuja Declaration by African leaders had set a target of, at least, 15 per cent of their yearly budget to improve the health sector.