The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said the adjustments made to the ministry’s budget by the National Assembly had affected its capacity to respond to emergencies.
He said that the adjustment of the Appropriation Bill by the National Assembly constituted a major hindrance to the proper implementation of the 2012 budget.
The minister made the remark yesterday after the presentation of the budget performance of his ministry to President Goodluck Jonathan at the state house in Abuja. Chukwu explained that the reduction of the headquarters capital project from N19 billion to N14.57 billion affected response to emergencies from terror attacks and natural and man-made disasters.
“The ministry proposed N582 million for the control of Lassa fever, cholera, measles and other disasters but the National Assembly appropriated N78 million.
“When we had the petrol tanker disaster, we should have enough money to supply materials, but unfortunately that’s not the situation of things,’’ he said. The minister said the budget cut also affected response to Port Health Services, including Yellow Fever control, issuance of yellow card and immunization of travellers in and out of the country.
Chukwu, however, said the ministry had achieved a general budget performance of 36 per cent as of July.