Senate has ordered the suspension of Federal Government’s plan to build new primary health centres in each of the wards across the country.
The upper chamber asked relevant agencies involved in the building plan to furnish it with details of funding of the project.
The Senate Committee on Primary Health and Communicable Diseases, which handed the suspension, said it was obvious that the project was not viable now due to paucity of fund.
The committee chairman,Mao Ohuabunwa, at a meeting with officials of the agency, said funding of such policy would be a problem now.
The committee noted that the said multi-billion naira project was not captured in the 2017 budget.
The committee said the N3 million provided for each of the existing primary health centres in the 2016 budget barely paid the salaries of the health personnel in some local governments, The Nation reports.
The National Health Care Development Agency told the committee that it has commenced training of 20 women in each ward of the Federation to handle the proposed health centres under its Community Health Programme initiative.
Its Executive Secretary, Dr. FaizaShuaibu, said the new programme was in addition to the National Midwifery Scheme for which they may spend over N800 million this year for its implementation.
The committee asked the agency to forget such policy for now because it would amount to waste of public funds to create new health centres when many of such centres have been abandoned due to lack of fund.
Ohuabunwa said the committee would rather want the agency to consider building such centres in the 774 local government areas as a pilot scheme to observe how they can work first.