BY INUSA NDAHI, MAIDUGURI
The Borno State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BOSPHCDA) through the Additional Financing -Nigeria State Health Investment Project (AF-NSHIP), a World Bank assisted project has embarked on 2nd Batch Training for Facility Managers and Finance Clerks from contracted Health Facilities and General Hospitals in five Local Government Areas of the state.
The training was inline with World Bank/Nigerian Government policies towards implementing AF-NSHIP and Performance Based Financing (PBF) to ensure judicious and transparent use of Investment Credits and Subsidies which are disbursed quarterly to improve and strengthen quality and quantity of healthcare services in the state.
Just last week, similar training held in Gombe state, in which Facility Managers and Finance Clerks in contracted facilities from Askira Uba, Biu, Shani, Bayo, Kwaya Kusar LGAs of Southern Borno Senatorial District participated in the 1st Batch.
Declaring the 2nd Batch Workshop/Training Open, which took place yesterday at Dujima International Hotel, Maiduguri, the Executive Director of BOSPHCDA, Dr. Sule Meleh who was represented by the Project Coordinator, Hajiya Habiba Saidu said, the training became necessary, in view of World Bank’s policies and guidelines in Financial Management of Funds disbursed for Health Facilities and its principles to instil zero- tolerance on corruption and mismanagement of funds under Performance Based Financing (PBF) document.
She said, NSHIP which was introduced and being implemented in two Pilot LGAs of MMC and Jere since 2017, has been scaled up to other Council Areas because of its positive impact on the lives of Borno citizenry who had undergone devastation and displacement by activities of insurgents.
Mrs Saidu however noted that, with support from National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the commitment of Governor Kashim Shettima in addressing health challenges, efforts have been put in place to scale up the projects to all the 27 Local Government Areas across the state as the security situation improves.
Her words: “On behalf of the Executive Director, BOSPHCDA, Dr. Sule Meleh, I want to thank you for participating in this very important training on Financial Management, which is key for the success of NSHIP/PBF.
” Just last week, we had a similar training in Gombe State for some of the contracted Health Facilities in Askira- Uba, Biu, Bayo, Shani, Kwaya Kusar Local Government Areas of Borno South, it was a very successful training, therefore, I urge you to take this training very serious by cooperating with the Facilitators, as the World Bank is not giving us these monies freely, but it is a loan which must be properly accounted for and paid back in near future.
“This particular training is aimed at ensuring accountability, transparency and free from corruption in the day to day running of Health care services in our contracted facilities”. Habiba said.
She expressed satisfaction with the rapid developments recorded in almost all the 101 so far contracted facilities during the implementation process of the projects which have really strengthened the Health system, particularly the availability of medical equipment and essential drugs, free services to under-5- children, pregnant and nursing mothers among others being witnessed in all the facilities contracted across the state.
The National Project Coordinator, Hajiya Binta Ismail, represented by an Accountant at the NPHCDA, Salamatu Saleh Ibrahim enjoined the participants to utilize the knowledge to be derived from the 3- Day Training, as Federal Government is fully committed to support the AF-NSHIP states in the north east recover from the menace of destructions inflicted on the health sector by terrorists and other violence related attacks in the region.
The Technical Assistant of AF-NSHIP/PBF in charge of Borno and Yobe, Mr. Nji Valery in an interview said, the purpose of the training is to ensure that all the monies disbursed to the contracted facilities are fully accounted for based on PBF guidelines which has respect to ‘due process, rule of law, accountability and transperancy’.
The Project Accountant of the Project in the state, Alhaji Modu Kolo also said, the training will acquaint participants to have the basic rudiments of Financial Management in their facilities, adding that, the Financial Management tools which were developed in Akwanga, Nassarawa state, and adopted in Abuja, have to be practicalized and implemented in the state.
Speaking on behalf of participants, the Medical Director, State Specialists Hospital, Maiduguri, Dr. Laraba Bello thanked the World Bank and the Federal Government to ensure that Borno benefits in the AF-NSHIP programme.
She then assured that they will key into the project to address some of the challenges associated with Financial Management to ensure that transparency, accountability and due process are put in place and implemented based on PBF guidelines in the health sector.
Other Participants and Facilitators who attended the training were drawn from the Project Finance Monitoring Unit (PMFU), LGA Supervisors and PBF Focal Persons from Primary Health Care Department at the Local Government levels, Project Implementation Unit (PIU), BOSPHCDA, NPHCDA, Contract Management Verification Agent (CMVA), Independent Verifier Agent (IVA), among others.
*Photo: Gov Shettima