COMMUNITY Health and Research Initiative, CHR, a civil society organization has called on government to be transparent on the budget process on polio and the Midwives Service Scheme in the country. Project director of the organization, Dr Aminu Magashi Garbamade made this call during the week in Abuja at the validation meeting of the Champions for Change (C4C) project scorecard, a project of the organization. Speaking to newsmen, Magashi said that there was need for timely and transparent allocation, release, and expenditure of vaccines fund and monthly salaries of MSS Midwives. According to Magashi it is very important for the Nigerian government to be clear on whether to continue with the Midwives Service Scheme or not, saying that for about nine months now many of the midwives posted to rural areas had not been paid. “The over one billion naira allocated to the Midwives Service Scheme in the 2016 budget is reasonable, unfortunately the release of the money is another issue. There is need to decide on whether to hand the scheme over to the local or state government because many of these midwives right now are being kicked out of communities where they have been working,” he decried. He said the 2016 immunization and Midwives Service Scheme Budget Transparency Scorecard drawn by the organization was made to measure the level of openness and participation of Nigerians in the budget process, as well as to score the government on where it is doing well and where it should improve . He further disclosed that the score card which is still subject to review showed that there was inadequate MSS budget
information communicated to the public, inadequate budget time-table and inadequate level of transparent spending on the scheme in the 2016 Budget. Also it revealed that there was inadequate level of transparent spending on immunization, but scored the government high on prioritization of immunization spending in the budget, he said. Magashi said it was necessary or the government for inform the public on how the money allocated, and the ones received from International donors like the World Bank, and Bill Gates Foundation among others were being spent to ensure transparency in the process.

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