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Why health minister disowned 2016 budget

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The Health Minister, Professor Isaac Adewole on Monday, February 8 announced that the figures of the original budget of his ministry had been changed and therefore should be discarded.

While speaking at his budget defence meeting with the senate committee on health, he asked that he will submit a  on Tuesday, February 9 which will reflect the programmes of the health sector in 2016.

This revelation caused Senator Lanre Tejuosho, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health to go into an executive session with the minister to deliberate on the matter.

The minister further disclosed that there were some issues that have not been concluded but yet allocation had been made without the knowledge of the ministry.

He said: “In the revised budget as re-submitted, 15.7 billion naira for capital allocation has been moved to other areas. Some allocations made are not in keeping with our priorities. There is nothing allocated to public health and family health. Over the last two years, nothing has been done on HIV.

“We have to look into the details of the budget and re-submit it to the committee. This was not what we submitted. We ‘ll submit another one.

“We don’t want anything foreign to creep into that budget. What we submitted is not there. We have not reached that stage and we find the money there.”

While responding, the Chairman said that there was no need looking into the budget as it is clear that the one before them is false.

“Honourable minister, we need to have an executive session. You said about this budget that public health is not there. Obviously, the budget we are looking at now is not your own,” Tejuosho said.

The minister’s disclosure further reinforced a recent discovery that some unscrupulous Nigerians had imported strange figures into the 2016 budget in pursuit of their greed and corrupt tendencies. Last week for instance, Senate Committee on Education discovered N10 billion tucked into the education budget.

However, Adewole disclosed that State House Clinic in which 3.9 billion naira was allocated, that other hospitals got far less than that

“The State House Clinic is not under the Ministry of Health. I hope it’s not the same rats that changed things in our budget that changed it. The amount is meant for procurement and purchase of medical equipment.

“It is very important that you engage them because what happened to us might have also happened to them. It is possible that what is there, might not have been what they put there,” Adewole added.

Meanwhile, Adewole who spoke on the current Zika virus ravaging the United States and Brazil, urged that Nigerians should not be worried.

He revealed that black people have a strong resistance to the virus as it has been in the country since 1954.

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