Keynote Address By The Honourable Minister Of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, At The Conduct Of Peer Learning Sessions To Disseminate Lessons And Achievements On The Federal Ministry Of Health’s Budget Process Reforms

PROTOCOL

It is my great pleasure and honour to address the participants at this ‘Breakfast Meeting’ on Peer Learning Sessions to Disseminate Lessons Learnt and Achievements Attained over the years on the Federal Ministry of Health’s Budget Process Reforms.

2.    You will recall that the FMoH launched a comprehensive study in 2017 on the need to understand the determinants of sub-optimal budget process outcomes which provided recommendations to address them. Findings revealed a mis-alignment between planning and budgeting with a disconnect between those responsible for planning (Department of Health Planning, Research and Statistics) and those responsible for budgeting (Department of Finance and Accounts), and miscommunication with external stakeholders like the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) as well as the National Assembly (NASS), etc. This was done to ensure that the meagre resources allocated to the health sector translate to improved health outcomes and demonstrate value for money.

3.    The recommendations from the study to fill the identified gaps formed the basis for the FMoH budget process reforms, which include refined processes for development of strategic budgets that are linked to the health sector’s priorities, regular capacity building, and budget performance monitoring. These reforms commenced with the constitution of the Planning and Budget (P&B) Committee, a collaboration mechanism to address the disconnect between the DHPRS and DFA on budget matters, and to oversee the Planning Cells consisting of planning and budget desk officers across FMoH Departments, Agencies and Parastatals (DAPs) in the development of their respective Annual Operational Plans (AOPs) and Budgets.

4.    The Planning and Budget (P&B) Committee has since supported the Planning Cells to develop and submit timely and strategic health budgets through the institutionalisation of a yearly Annual Operational Plan (AOP) and Mock Budget development exercise ahead of the issuance of the Call Circular by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning (FMFBNP) for preparation of the National Budget. To demonstrate value for money and reframe communications with the FMFBNP and National Assembly (NASS), the Committee developed an intermediate outcome budget performance monitoring approach that links financial inputs to the achievement of health outcomes.

5.    Since the commencement of the reforms in 2017, by first starting with the training of the FMOH Planning Cell Members on Budget Process, the P&B Committee has routinely documented lessons for learning and improvement and for dissemination to the FMoH DAPs, to ensure that they can be applied to refine their budget processes towards a more extensive, all-encompassing reform and efficient use of resources within the health sector. Without mincing words, the efforts so far put into the Budget Process Reforms have started yielding good results which manifested in the quick preparation and submission of our 2021 Annual Budget to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning for onward transmission to the NASS  and eventual passage into law. As you are all aware, the defence of the FMOH 2021 Fiscal Year Budget at NASS has been concluded and we are awaiting final approval.

6.    The overall goal of the conduct of this peer learning session is to further advocate, broaden and harmonize the perspectives of the different actors in the budget process of the Ministry. The specific objectives of the exercise are to:
(i) Disseminate achievements and share learnings from the FMoH budget process reforms; and
(ii) Support participants to apply learnings and findings to their respective budget process.

7.    It is gratifying to note that this breakfast meeting on budget process reform is holding just a few days after I had an interface with the media. I hereby challenge members of the Planning Cell to take necessary steps towards making budgetary provisions for activities derivable from the media parley in our subsequent annual budgets.  

8.    At this juncture, I wish to appreciate our Partners namely: Bill & Melinda Gates (BMGF), Results for Development (R4D), and Sydani Initiative for International Development for their supportive roles in the Budget Process Reform of the Ministry. We also use this opportunity to thank all our partners for their collaborations as we look forward to more collaborations on this and other initiatives.

9.    Thank you.

FMOH Agencies

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