The Nigerian Government in 2012 during the London Summit on Family Planning, made commitments that will see a sustained financing for Family Planning, particularly the annual allocation of US$4 million from the national budget to the fund for procurement of contraceptive commodities and then to achieve the national objective of a Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) of 36 percent by 2018 from a CPR of 15 percent in 2013.
The Government of Nigeria then updated its commitment at the Family Planning Summit in London, UK on July 11, 2017. The Federal government’s target of reaching 27% mCPR by 2020 was set, and in order to improve uptake it was noted that there needed to be free Family Planning information, services and commodities at all public health facilities.
From the 2017 and 2021 national budget, N6.8 billion has been allocated to family planning, out of which N3.6 billion was released. What was observed was that not all funds allocated were released especially in 2017 and 2018 where 93% and 33% of the fund allocated were released respectively. Also, the N809 million allocated in 2021 fiscal year has not been released. Recall that the N900 million funding gap for 2019 was proposed to be released from the Service Wide Vote (SWV)
Objectives of the Visit
- To disseminate the scorecard evidence from the National family planning budget allocation and releases trend.
- Advocate for timely releases of the family planning funding commitment.
The Advocacy Target
- The Honourable Minister of Finance Budget and Planning of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed
The PAS Advocacy Team
- Dr Minnie Oseji – MWAN-PAS National
- Dr Rahila Mukhtar – MWAN-PAS Kano
- Dr Claribel Abam – MWAN-PAS National
- Amina Ado – PAS Consultant
The MWAN-PAS team met with the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning to advocate for the fulfilment of 2019 funding commitment for family planning for Nigerians whilst presenting evidence of Nigeria’s family planning funding trend analysis in comparison to Nigeria’s contraceptive prevalence rate and the maternal mortality rate. To reap the demographic dividends, MWAN-PAS advocated that the Honourable Minister should fulfil funding commitments for family planning and the health sector.
The Honorable Minister in her response, thanked the MWAN-PAS delegation, noting with pleasure the work of PAS medical women advocating for child and family health issues. She noted that the health of women and children are a priority for this administration. Despite failure to meet the 15% commitment, Nigeria has progressively funded the health sector with incremental funding. She also noted that regardless of competing priorities the federal government will continue to prioritize funding for health and family planning therein.
She also noted that effective utilization of funds continues to be an issue with MDAs and with competing priorities, this will be an obstacle to incremental funding. For e.g., regarding the BHCPF which also caters to child and family health issues, the federal government is making moves to fulfil its commitment for the 1% CRF but the non-responsiveness at state level to provide counterpart funding has slowed the process. MDAs are also showing low utilization capacity.
The Honourable Minister then noted that the federal government is taking innovative steps to improve fiscal transparency through M&E for budget tracking on an MDA-by-MDA level via the Budget Office of The Federation’s website. The Accountant General’s office has also initiated a transparency monitor to show governments spending.
She called on MWAN-PAS to advocate to the health MDAs to improve their capacity for utilization of the funds released and also increase advocacy efforts for the girl child education to improve family planning uptake.
To Increased advocacy capacity of CSOs coalitions in support of allocation and release of funding by the Federal Ministry of Finance for FP programs, Budget Office to present evidence of gaps in funding and releases (IO 4.1.3), the following outcomes were achieved
- The Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning committed to ensuring release of the family planning funding and funding for the health sector.
- She also committed to supporting efforts for family planning initiatives and other health issues.
Recommendations from the Hon Minister
- Improve advocacy efforts for the utilization of released funds at MDA level.
- Improve girl child education as a means for improving family planning uptake.
- Continuous engagement with the Budget Office of The Federation on budget tracking.
- A follow-up letter commending the Honourable Minister for her commitment to release family planning funds as well as request for the release of approved funds.
- Budget tracking to ensure funds release