As the Federal Government prepares to finalise its 2017 budget, top Nigerian celebrities have come together urging the government to invest in health sector as stipulated in the National Health Act (2014) and keep its commitment to the 2001 African Union’s Abuja Commitment.
Speaking at a media parley, Singer, Waje expressed disappointment in little commitment shown by the government towards the health sector, she said,
“As a proud and patriotic Nigerian, it is particularly distressing to me that our country is suffering from a silent killer – this health crisis which is completely avoidable,” Waje said.
“It is time to act Naija! We must come together with a collective voice, and tell our government to do more by investing in the health of our children and families, by doing so, we will make Naija stronger.” A video, ”I AM IN …to make Naija Stronger” with an all-star cast including Yemi Alade, Desmond Elliot, Kate Henshaw, Ali Nuhu, Basketmouth and Toolz, was launched.
Also speaking, Kannywood actor Ali Nuhu, said “Enough is enough! This is the message we are sending to our government. A healthy Nigeria makes a wealthy Nigeria and we need to stand together to Make Naija Stronger. Now it’s your turn, if you haven’t added your voice to better our nation’s health system, you need to do so right now.”
Yemi Alade made a call to the grassroots saying: “Make all of una join una voice to tell our government say make dem put correct money for our health matter so that all the pikin and mama wey dey die unnecessarily for Naija go stop.”
Nachilala Nkombo, Deputy Director of ONE Africa said: “While other African countries are improving their health indicators, inconsistent and insufficient health funding in Nigeria over the years has made access to basic life-saving health services a luxury for ordinary Nigerians.”
Fifteen years ago all African governments made a commitment in Abuja to increase health spending to 15% of their national budgets but this condition has not been fulfilled by Nigerian policymakers.