Business owners in Nigeria have been urged to give the health sector priority to help contribute to the development of the sector, with various heads of government supporting the coalition for health.
The suggestion came from the President of Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote, who advised business owners to dedicate one per cent of their profits after tax to the health sector.
Dangote spoke about the importance of investing in the health sector of Nigeria during a health conference tagged ‘African Business Coalition for Health,’ which has the support of heads of government across Africa.
The ‘African Business Coalition for Health’ is a joint initiative of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, GBCHealth, and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, which was inaugurated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia recently.
While representing Dangote at the event, Halima Aliko-Dangote, the Foundation’s Executive Director, said Africa Business Health Forum would identify issues and solutions to Africa’s health challenges with a view to mobilising the will to confront it headlong.
“Governments from both developed and developing countries are increasingly looking at public-private partnerships as a way to expand access to higher quality health services by leveraging capital, managerial capacity, and know-how from the private sector.”
According to Punch, Dangote informed the audience that in keeping with his passion to see healthier African people and a better continent, he had proposed and charged business leaders in Nigeria to commit at least one per cent of their profit after tax to support the health sector.
While Africa had made significant progress in the funding of healthcare, the co-Chairman, GBCHealth, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, said Nigeria is still far.
“We are still very far from where we need to be to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3.”
Scarce public funding and limited donor support have constrained healthcare in Africa, according to Aig-Imoukhuede. Adding that out-of-pocket expenditure accounted for 36 per cent of Africa’s total healthcare spending.
Aig-Imoukhuede was, however, not surprised that healthcare spending in Africa was grossly inadequate to meet Africa’s needs, which he said has led to a financing gap of N66bn per annum.