None State Actors, Open Government Partnership (OGP) at the weekend alerted Kaduna State House of Assembly on the observed discrepancy in the 2021 routine immunization draft budget – slashed from N200 million to N41 million.
The group noted that, if the changes were not effected as captured in the Memorandum of Understanding the State signed with development partners before the 2021 budget which is currently undergoing scrutiny at the State Assembly is signed into law by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, it would hinder partners from supporting the state on routine immunization as well as drop in the current progress made in that regard.
Chairman, Citizen Arm of OGP, Mustapha Jumare, who led the team to the Assembly said, with the support of dRPC-PAS and IIGES-PAS coordinating unit in the State, “the aim was to make sure that what is being promised for routine communication reflects well in the 2021 budget”.
According to him, “we have noted that it has been slashed from N200 million which was what the Governor himself signed together with partners (Dangote Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation) as counterpart funding on routine immunisation annually.
“It has been slashed to N41 million and 2021 is the last year when that Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will end on routine immunization while the partners will continue to support the state in other areas.
“We felt this will affect the state government from some of the supports we are getting from these partners. It will also affect the little improvement that we have recorded in immunisation in the year 2021 even though we have deep effect of COVID-19 on immunisation.
“We believe given it what was agreed with partners in that MoU will help to build on that success recorded. So, in a nutshell, we want that changes effected so partners can continue to offer support and at the same time, we achieve more in immunisation.
“That was why we came to the Kaduna State House of Assembly to see the Committee on health and discuss with them so they can affect that change during the budget scrutiny before the budget is sent to the governor for his accent.
“Already, we met with a member of that committee who told us in confidence that, the issue raised has been mentioned. But beyond mentioning, we want to see it reflecting in the 2021 budget which is presently before the Assembly”, he explained.