PAS subgrantee, Centre for Communication in Reproductive Health (CCRHS), carried our budget analysis to determine the allocation of funds for the implementation of FP Programmes in Niger State, and to find out if FP funds are captured under programme funds allocated to all the programmes in the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (NSPHCDA).
These funds are allocated annually as lump sum which is shared among all the programmes including the FP. Available evidence shows that funds were allocated for FP in the annual budget for 2019 and 2020 and currently 2021 to the SMoH under the budget Sub-head of the SPHCDA but the FP unit does not make requisitions to the State Planning Commission (NPC) let alone fund release by State Ministry of Finance.
The funds allocated to FP are captured in the budgets of the SPCHDA which in turn has its budget captured in the budget of the State Ministry of Health. In Niger State, so far, funds allocated to the FP unit are from two sources, which are State Ministry of Health and Saving One Million Lives Performance for Result Funds (SOML PforR)
Below are the tables highlighting the allocations and releases to FP in Niger State from the two sources earlier mentioned:
Table 1: SMoH budget for FP programme
|YEAR||AMOUNT ALLOCATED (₦)||ACTUAL RELEASES (₦)||PERCENTAGE RELEASES (%)|
The Niger State Ministry of Health budgeted about ₦8 million Naira and ₦4 million respectively in 2019 and 2020 but the FP unit through its Agency was not able to access the funds (Table 1). Thus, FP programme activities captured in the state plan were not implemented due to lack of cash backing from the state through the State Ministry of Finance. The reasons were far-fetched including the non-requisition by the FP Unit through the Agency as well low commitments by FP staff and inadequate capacity to carry out all the processes involved in the funds release by the relevant MDAs.
Niger State is among the few states that access the SOML funds in 2018. Fund’s disbursement is linked to indicators including the contraceptive prevalence rate. The state is expected to made improvement in the rate compared to the states’ 2015 baseline data of CPR. Hence, funds were allocated to FP Programme for implementing interventions that would improve the CPR resulting in additional funds for the State.
Table 2: State SOML budget for FP programme
|YR||SOML BUDGET LINES||AMOUNT ALLOCATED (₦)||ACTUAL RELEASES (₦)||PERCENTAGE RELEASES (%)|
|2019||Saving One Million Lives Programme for Result – (SOML)||10,293,000||10,293,000||100|
|2020||Saving One Million Lives Programme for Result – (SOML)||2,950,000||2,950,000||100|
Niger SOML consistently made budgetary provision for FP for 2019, 2020 and 2020 under review, though 2021 allocation is still and there was a decrease in budgetary allocation in 2020 (Table 2). This is due to the impact of COVID-19 which hampered fund releases from the National SOML Programme. Also, the entire allocated amount in 2019 and 2020 was duly released by the SOML which complemented the funds from Partners to implement FP interventions in 2019 and 2020. In other to identify the total funds spent on the implementation of FP services, the two budgets were merged to generate the total percentage of the fund releases in the State for the two years under review.
Table 3: Total state budget for FP programme
|YEAR||TOTAL STATE BUDGET||AMOUNT ALLOCATED (₦)||ACTUAL RELEASES (₦)||PERCENTAGE RELEASES (₦)|
|2019||SOML + State Budget||18,302,708.74||10,293,000||56|
|2020||SOML + State Budget||6,954,854.37||2,950,000||42|
|2021||SOML + State Budget||Nill|
The consolidated budget for FP in the State shows that the percentage releases for the allocated funds is about half of the total budget earmarked for FP Services in the State. SOML Programme is the last year of its programme coupled with the shrinking donor support that is not sustainable, the State must begin to look inwards for mitigating all the hiccups and barriers related to budget allocation and releases, otherwise achieving the ambitious target of CPR 25% by 2020 will remain a mirage. The trend of non-release of budget was also observed in the state budget for the last five years (2015-2020).
Table 4: FP Releases-Niger SOML funding (June – December 2020)
|YEAR||SOML BUDGET LINES||ACTUAL RELEASES (JUNE – DEC 2020)|
|2020||Saving One Million Lives Programme for Result – (SOML)||2,950,000|
|2020||State Ministry of Health (SMoH)||No Releases|
|2021||State Ministry of Health||No release yet|
Table 4 above reflects the releases to FP from the two sources in Niger State. Across the span of June to December 2020, no releases were recorded from the State Ministry of Health while the sum of two million, nine hundred and fifty thousand were released to FP unit from Saving One Million Lives Performance for Result (SOML PforR) in Niger State. Also, in 2021, No allocations from the SoML as the programme has winded up while the allocation from the State Ministry of Health is still not known, while no release recorded yet from the State Ministry of Health
Based on the findings generated from the assessment, the following recommendations have been made as follows:
- Reactive and strengthen the FP AWG taskforce team to conduct and sustained high-level advocacy as well as resource mobilization for FP activities.
- Sensitize policymakers and other decisionmakers in the state on the importance of domestic financing of FP activities.
- Build the capacity of key staff from State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) officials on the processes and procedures required to access funds allocated in the State budget as well as the techniques for writing compelling and evidence-based fund requisition memos for the release of funds as approved in the annual budget
- Need for aggressive advocacies to the relevant stakeholders from across the legislative and executive arm of government for adequate funding and releases to the sector
- Need for the sector to intensify effort in developing proposals based on the AOP/CIP to address challenges around FP unit
- Niger State Government to improve in its commitments in the areas of funding and policy implementation to FP in Niger State
CCRHS-PAS to validate findings and conduct advocacy visit to the relevant MDAs