A gathering was organized in Abuja in 2001, where African leaders took notice of the urgent challenges faced by the healthcare systems in Africa. They made a joint pledge to dedicate 15% of public funds each year to strengthen healthcare across the continent. Despite this commitment, Nigeria has persistently failed to fulfill this promise, leading to an underfunded healthcare system that faces immense difficulties in effectively combating major outbreaks. Advocates consistently stress the necessity of additional funds, with a predominant focus on the Federal Government. However, it is imperative not to underestimate the vital contribution of states and local governments when dealing with these pressing health issues.
In accordance with Nigerian regulations, these entities hold the authority to independently oversee their healthcare systems, making a substantial impact on yearly public spending. This independence encompasses the responsibility of leading through the State Ministry of Health and its various departments and agencies. To elaborate the disparity in healthcare funding among different states, a list showcasing the states position with the greatest allocations towards their healthcare systems in 2023 is presented. Lagos state outshines all others boasting an astonishing budget of ₦1.768 trillion.
Kaduna health expenditure budget surpassed ₦59 billion.
Health sector expenditure budget for the state of ₦149.353 billion, was distributed to various entities including the Ministry of Health, the primary healthcare board, the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, the Lagos State University College of Medicine, the Lagos State Health Management Agency, and the board of Traditional Medicine, among many others. In contrast, Kaduna approved budget exceeded ₦376 billion, with a health expenditure budget surpassing ₦59 billion. The state’s Ministry of Health, contributory health management authority, primary healthcare development agency, and several other entities are the recipients of Kaduna state health expenditure budget.
Ogun state sanctioned 2023 budget soared above ₦472 billion, with over ₦51 billion dedicated to health expenditures. These funds were specifically assigned to various entities such as the Ogun State Ministry of Health, the Ogun State Health Insurance Agency, the Primary Healthcare Development Board, and the Covid-19 Preparedness initiatives & Response Board, among others. Rivers state approved 2023 budget of over ₦544 billion, with health expenditure budget of over ₦41 billion. Funding from the health budget was allocated to various entities including the Ministry of Health in Rivers State, the agency responsible for primary healthcare development, the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, and the hospital management board, amongst others.
Katsina healthcare expenditure budget exceeds ₦33 billion.
Oyo State’s 2023 budget approval exceeded ₦310 billion and over ₦36 billion was specifically allotted for healthcare expenses. The fund was allocated to various entities including the Ministry of Health, the Hospital Management Board, the Primary Healthcare Development Agency, the Oyo State Health Insurance Agency, as well as the LAUTECH Teaching Hospital in Ogbomoso, among others. Also, Katsina State approved 2023 budget surpassed ₦289 billion, with a healthcare expenditure budget exceeding ₦33 billion. The state’s Ministry of Health, the contributory healthcare management agency, the primary healthcare development agency, the hospitals management board, and the college of Nursing are all allocated a portion from the billion-dollar budget.
The budget for health expenditures in Delta state was over ₦30 billion out of a total approved budget of over ₦571 billion. A number of state agencies and institutions, including the health ministry, specialist hospitals, the board of traditional medicine, nursing schools, and state schools of midwifery, are recipients of the health fund. For Bauchi, the 2023 approved budget was over ₦202 billion, out of which over ₦30 billion was designated for health expenditures. The fund was assigned to the College of Nursing and Midwifery, the Hospital Management Board, the Primary Healthcare Development Agency, and the Bauchi State Ministry of Health, among others.
Akwa Ibom designated over ₦28 billion for healthcare expenses.
Jigawa states approved 2023 budget was over ₦185 billion. A significant portion of this budget, ₦29 billion (15.83%) was allocated for healthcare expenditure. This health budget was disseminated among various institutions, including the Ministry of Health, general hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, tuberculosis and leprosy hospital, and the Agency for the Control of AIDS, among others. Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom sanctioned 2023 budget surpasses ₦700 billion. Keeping the welfare of its citizens in mind, over ₦28 billion was designated for healthcare expenses. The state distributed the fund to its Ministry of Health, Primary Health Care Development Agency, Hospitals Management Board, State Task Force on counterfeit and fake drugs, and State Committee on Food and Nutrition, among others.