President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that the Federal Government has begun the implementation of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund which is aimed at increasing the share of Nigeria’s population covered by primary health care to 63 percent. The President made this disclosure on Thursday while inaugurating the new National Economic Council (NEC) for the next four years.
“In healthcare, as you all know, the Federal Government is now implementing the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund. Sustained implementation will help us increase the share of Nigeria’s population covered by primary health care, from 12.6% at present, to 65% by 2023.
“And while the Federal Government has primary responsibility for security and will not shy away from it, the States also have a critical role to play; in particular by assisting and cooperating with the security agencies.”
Speaking further during the inauguration, President Buhari charged State Governments to keenly pursue economic policies aimed at improving employment opportunities for the youth.
According to him, State Governors have the responsibility to pursue policies and programmes that will improve vocational training and youth employment, programmes that forestall communal, tribal, religious, societal conflicts, as well as programmes that promote education, information, and dispute resolution.
Meanwhile, President Buhari reiterated that quality education remains one of the priorities of his administration. President Buhari expects all Governors to ensure that schools offer the right opportunities and provide the needed materials and teachers for basic education.
“I made it clear that I would like to see every Governor rise from today’s NEC meeting and rally their LGA chairmen towards ensuring that our schools offer the right opportunities and provide the needed materials and teachers for basic education, at the minimum.
“On our own part as the Federal Government, we will continue to invest in the school feeding programme, and extend it to all the States, and we will also assist States as much as possible to access the counterpart funding provided by UBEC for the development of basic education.”
On the flip side, President Buhari urged State Governors to seek for ways to improve their Internally Generated Revenues (IGR). Recall that that during his first term, President Buhari’s administration had released a series of bailout funds to state governments to meet up with their financial obligations in the face of economic recession. That will not be the case this time around.
“Going forward, States must in the next four years find ways to increase internally generated revenues, improve VAT collection and increase agricultural output without disrupting business activities.
“I also want you to work with the Federal Agencies and the service providers in ensuring that broadband infrastructure is made available all over the country. Information and Communication Technology is the future of work and we must not allow ourselves to be left behind.”