The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Monday said not less than $12 million is earmarked to be spent annually on contraceptives for Family Planning (FP) in Nigeria.
The UNFPA National Programme Specialist, Mrs Olanike Adedeji, disclosed while briefing journalists on the line up programme to mark 2017 World Population Day in Abuja.
Adedeji explained that the Nigerian government committed only $2 million for the procurement of contraceptives for FP until 2011, when the government proclaimed such FP commodities to be free in public health facilities.
She said that since that declaration, many donors like USAID, DFID and UNFPA contributed resources to ensure this pronouncement became reality.
According to her, all this effort was to ensuring that the commodities were all over public facilities in the country.
“After the proclamation and MoU was signed, Nigeria started having between $12 to $16 million every year,” she said.
The programme specialist said that UNFPA intervened to assist in distribution from the national warehouse to states to local government health facilities.
She added that USAID was also supporting in five to seven states in the country.
She said that UNFPA has engaged 5,000 health care workers to provide the services across the country.
Adedeji stated that in 2012, Nigeria had a golden moment in London when it proposed to give $11.5 million annually, pointing out that the Federal Ministry of Health was expected to give $3 million while the then Sure-P programme would dole out $8.5.
She noted that due to fall in oil prices Sure-P’s commitment was not realisable but had been depending on contribution from the ministry of health.
“From 2012 till date what we have been getting is $3 million from the ministry of health and we have been pushing for review and recently we learnt the Federal Executive Council had increased it to four million dollars,” she said.
The official explained that FP was not meant to reduce population as widely perceived in the country.
She said that it was meant to ensure basic needs of life like education, health infrastructural facilities were adequate or commensurate to the growing population.
Adedeji noted that it depends on how it is used as “population could be a blessing or a curse to any country’’. (NAN)