The National Health Bill suffered a major setback in the Senate yesterday as senators objected to some clauses in the Bill which in part seeks to establish a National Primary Health Fund to be financed from Nigeria's Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
The Bill sponsored by Senator Ifeanyi Okowa seeks to establish, for the federation, a National Health System which shall define and provide framework for standards and regulation of health services.
Some federal lawmakers raised objection to funding for the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, arguing that funding should be appropriated for the agency by the federal government.
However, Clauses 1-10 of the bill were passed by the upper chamber in a committee of the whole during a clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill, but a strong wave of disagreement among senators ensued when the Senate considered clause 11, which seeks the establishment of Primary Healthcare Development Fund and National Primary Healthcare Development Agency.
Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, tried to convince the senators to adopt provisions of clause 11, a move that failed.
He said: "It will be an anomaly if the Senate cannot legislate for the agency to draw from the Consolidated Revenue Fund."
In view of the contentions, Senate President David Mark then requested that the sponsor of the Bill carry out further work on the bill upon its withdrawal.