Discrepancies In Kano's Health Budget Raises Accountability Concerns

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discrepancies in kanos health budget raises accountability concerns

Discrepancies in Kanos Health Budget Raises Accountability Concerns

A recent review of Kano states health budget has sparked concerns about transparency and accountability in the allocation of funds.

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are calling for a closer look at the spending plan, while some government officials maintain that the budget is adequate and appropriately allocated.

Malam Hassan, a resident of Kanos outskirts, shared his experience in accessing healthcare amidst budget allocation concerns, "Last month, my wife needed urgent medication for her asthma, but the clinic said they were out of stock. I had to travel all the way to the city center to find a pharmacy that had it, and it cost twice as much as usual. If the government is allocating funds for these medications, why are they not reaching our local clinic?"

In Kano, the most populated state in Nigeria and home to the second largest city after Lagos, outbreaks of cholera, diphtheria, measles and cerebrospinal meningitis, in addition to COVID-19, highlight the need for policies and funding to address recurring and emerging disease outbreaks.

Discrepancies: The gap between allocation and expenditure - CISLAC

Discrepancies were identified between the Kano State Public Health Expenditure Tracking Report 2023, published by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and the official state budget documents.

Our analysis of the state budget revealed significant discrepancies between what was allocated and what was actually spent on healthcare. said Isah Muhammad, Kano Coordinator for CISLAC.

These discrepancies raise concerns about where the allocated funds are going and how they are being used.

"Unfortunately, these funding issues can have tragic consequences. Last year, a young boy in Kano lost his life due to complications from malaria because his local clinic lacked essential supplies. Stories like this highlight the urgency of ensuring our health budget is used effectively," Muhammad said on a somber note.

Discrepancies: An annual "copy and peste" - Commissioner

Recently, the Kano State Commissioner For Health, Abubakar Yusuf, says his ministry's annual budget is unrealistic as officials always "copy and paste" the previous year's budget documents.

Mr Yusuf stated this in April while inaugurating a committee to drive the preparation of the budget and track its implementation, the ministry's spokesperson, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said in a statement.

"The move is very important looking at the unrealistic nature of the budget of the Ministry characterised by repeated copy and paste over the years," lamenting that what one sees in the budget of the Ministry is just duplication year by year.

"There is the need for timely and early preparedness of the budgeting process for better results upon implementation. That was why the Ministry deems it pertinent to sit together and map out strategies to have focus, aims and objectives in every fiscal year on what needs to be achieved in its budget so that they start planning from the beginning of the year," Mr Yusuf said.

Discrepancies: Duplication and Weak Donor Cordination Mar 3yrs Budget - KanSLAM

A budget tracking analysis report from 2020 to 2023 by the Kano State Led Accountability Mechanism (KanSLAM) revealed issues of duplication, weak donor cordination and a wide gap between allocation and cost benefit particularly in the areas of child birth spacing (CBS).

A CBS analysis of the report shows a NGN31.29billion health budget and a mere NGN40million CBS allocation in 2020. Similarly in 2021 the health budget allocation stood at NGN30.72billion with the same NGN40million CBS allocation. Also, the 2022 health budget stood at NGN33.40billion with a NGN110million CBS allocation while in 2023, the health budget stood at NGN40.25bilion with a NGN215million CBS allocation.

Meanwhile, only 2022 had a 100% allocation vs spending. 2020 had 0% spending of the 40million allocation while 2021 had 25% spending (NGN10million) and 2023 had 24.35% spending (NGN52.3million) of the NGN215million CBS allocation.

In addition to inadequate budgetary provisions for CBS programs, inefficient tracking system fo donor contribution and expenditure, KanSLAM expressed worry over parallel data collection and reporting system in the state whereby different development partners violate national rule by collecting data without the consent of Ministry of Health and other concerned Ministries Departments and Agencies.

It recommended the need for proper scrutiny of the budget document to avoid duplication of activities before it is published online and the need to strengthen donor coordination related to health sector expenditure by identfying sources and hermonising same into the budget.