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FG Introduces N5,000 Antenatal Allowance for Pregnant Women in Nigeria – Will This Help Reduce High Maternal Mortality Rates?



The monetary reward recently introduced by the Federal Government of Nigeria for women who attend antenatal clinics has been received with mixed reactions across the country with people having divergent views on the reward.

The Federal Government has concluded plans to pay women who attend antenatal clinics the sum of N5,000 as part of efforts to battle the menace of high maternal mortality rates.

The plan would be executed as part of the Midwifery Service Scheme (MSS) introduced in 2010 and it is hoped that it would also impact positively on child health.

According to the Director, Primary Health Care System Development with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Abdullahi Mohammed, the government has budgeted N15 billion for Maternal and Child Health Care from the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).

“The woman must attend antenatal clinic at least four times. For each of those antenatal visits, there is money attached to it which is N1000. The woman must deliver at the facility; if she does, she is entitled to something; the woman must also ensure that the child is fully immunised. The total package is about N5,000. It is not big, but the feeling is that considering the level of poverty, it’s enough for women to attend antenatal clinics.”

Mohammed said that while antenatal clinic attendance was free, it had some incidental expenses that discouraged pregnant women from registering for antenatal care.

Knowing the problems associated with disbursement of public funds in the country, some people are of the view that it would cause a lot of corruption in the system with ‘Ghost Pregnant Women’ springing up from different corners.

Others say it would be better to reduce the cost of consultation and delivery at government hospitals rather than giving the pregnant women money for attending antenatal clinics because in the end, they may use the money for other purposes and not deliver their children at the facility.

Meanwhile, some say the program is non-sustainable and would fizzle out within a couple of months.

On the other hand, some people have lauded the initiative saying it would encourage women who wouldn’t otherwise attend antenatal clinics to do so. Whereas, others are of the opinion that it would not encourage family planning anymore because women would get pregnant too often if they know they would get an allowance during their pregnancy.

The news report didn’t state whether the money would be paid monthly but since it was called an ‘allowance’, the assumption is that it would be paid monthly.

What are your thoughts? Do you think it is wise to pay pregnant women money to encourage them to attend antenatal clinics? Is this programme sustainable? Would this affect family planning measures being encouraged in Nigeria already? Can the allowance really serve the cause of reducing high maternal mortality rates?

Please share your thoughts.

News Source: Daily Times
Photo Credit: BET

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. purplepearl

    July 24, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Every development in Nigeria seems to come with mix reaction. #Abeg make una stand one side. Meanwhile, its a good move but i doubt if it can be sustained considering the birth rate in Nigeria.

  2. Aliyu mohammed

    July 24, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I dont think the arrangement will last,Nigerians are tired with promises.The only going to pay the big men wives,but typical village woman na barbas??????

  3. Chocolatier

    July 24, 2012 at 9:14 am

    I think this initiative does not make any sense. The problem should be addressed from its root. Paying women a paltry sum of 5,000 Naira will not reduce d high rate of Maternal mortality in this country. Better healthcare facilities, well trained and dedicated doctors is the way forward.

    • Peppa

      July 24, 2012 at 11:38 am


  4. Theodora

    July 24, 2012 at 9:18 am

    1. Its a great project in the sense it will encourage women who shy away from antenatal care due to lack of funds, but i cant help but agree the programme like all others will fizzle out in a couple of months after those in charge must have looted the funds made available for the project….

  5. myself

    July 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I agree with d idea of reducing d cost of anti-natal clinic and delivery. Then d staff of government hospitals should be re-oriented and enlightened on human relation. U can be sure it will be an encouragement for the patients rather than them having it in mind that one “Bitch” of a Nurse or Midwife is waiting to insult them. Another thing is punctuality,when u have to spend the whole day waiting for one useless midwife/nurse for 5 hrs before they resume only for them to come and at the end of the day the patients be treated like a nobody (a piece of shit) the uneducated ones will prefer to stay at home and have their babies or visit mama alagbo where they will spend less or nothing and be treated like a king.

  6. Jfk

    July 24, 2012 at 9:28 am

    The idea is ok but i fear it doesnt encourage family planning.

  7. Princess of Zion

    July 24, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Better than nothing but it’s quite a low sum!

  8. pynk

    July 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Programme is not sustainable. What should have been done is to train traditional birth specialists that are already functional in their communities and possibly provide equipment to these women to document and aid the pregnant women in their communities. More of a women helping women approach. Its easier if the midwife makes the visit versus the woman going out of her community and trekking a gazillion miles to a clinic. The midwives or traditional birthers can also be equipped to teach others.

  9. Omo

    July 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

    N5000 is a big joke, first you have to work with these women, educate the expecting mothers, the staff though I must commend our Nigerian Nurses some are exceptional given the little to no resources we have. Public Health Nigeria if we have one needs a total over hauling. How effective are these clinics, what are the wait times, how about proximity to where the mothers live , if I am Pregnant and the only clinic around me is eons away I am not going to go no I will trust my village midwife who has been doing it before I was born so incorporate the village midwives as well. I dont want to ramble but until the grass-root issues are taken care of, this is a bloody waste of time. Our health practitioners and policy makers need to start reading more and educating themselves. Mortality deaths in Nigeria constitute 14% of the entire world the entire world!!!!! That is too much and should not be happening in 2012. I may have said a lot , I apologize

  10. bisi kuoye

    July 24, 2012 at 10:16 am

    it is most reasonable for the govt to make proper primary health care delivery available and accessible to all nigerians and the rate of drop in maternal and infant mortality will be alarming. giving women any amount will do little to reduce maternal mortality cos most govt health facilities are not available and/or accessible.

  11. tcenemuo

    July 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Nigerian officials create avenues for fund leakages mostly to their deep pockets and this is one of them. This project is neither sustainable nor auditable . Their is no data base of pregnant women which cannot be manipulated that is available. Government should concentrate in providing adequately equipped health facilities with well trained personnel within reach of all and sundry.

  12. gbeborun

    July 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

    N5000 is tiny if you think of the resources Nigeria has but this is definitely a step in the right direction, hope the money gets to people who really NEED it and doesn’t just sit in a fixed deposit account of some fat cat.

  13. mercy

    July 24, 2012 at 10:51 am

    i pray ooooo….govt,i pray make him work…………….oooooooooooooo

  14. Nne Somebody

    July 24, 2012 at 11:04 am

    N5000??? I am so mad, I don’t know where to begin. So, the promise of N5,000 spread over a 9month period is supposed to encourage a woman to come to antenatal sessions where (i) they waste her time (ii) talk to her without compassion (iii) can’t give her the most basic health care services? If this woman who has come because of N5,000 incentive needs an ultrasound, who pays for it? If she needs a blood transfusion, will she get it? If the doctors need to do a C-section when her baby is born, will the doctors touch her without a deposit or is there a guarantee that there will be power supply in the theatre? The health care challenges women have to face in this country are ridiculous and like our politicians are wont to do, they throw plaster on top of the thing and imagine they’ve healed it. Fix the health sector, provide services to your people, preserve their dignity. I only ever visited a government hospital once to immunize my baby, took one look at the sea of humanity standing helplessly there and took to my heels immediately. It shouldn’t be so and it can be better but our so called leaders lack the will to make things better. I am sad, very sad. Sorry about the long rant.

  15. mrs mo

    July 24, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I am seriously amused at the thoughts behind this idea. What is the 5k supposed to do please? with my first who i had in private hospital,i paid close to 80k(normal delivery,tests,scans etc) and the second in a fed hospital close to 30k(tests,scans inclusive)..please tell me where does the 5k come in? They shoyld go and equip the hospitals ojare. anyone that goes to FMC Ebutemetta on wednesday will know what am talking about…pregnant women getting thre at 5 to pick number,pushing and shovelling only to be attended to around 11 or 12…they should go and sanitise our hospitals with the 5k they plan to give..we dont want please.

  16. yinka

    July 24, 2012 at 11:55 am

    what rubbish… “smart fools” 5000! clueless ppl in govt or they r plain heartless. they might aswell go back to 65 naira. y wont they pump d money into building good pediatric hospitals and paying the staff well, that way they would be dedicated and see to d proper management of the hospitals. WE NIGERIANS REFUSE AND SPEAK AGAINST STUPID DECISIONS! GEJ has made it clear that he cannot run this country with all this absurd in-practicable and utterly stupid ideas…to think he has a phd tho not in social science but,is it just me that thinks d man is having issues wit his brain or wat is happening? OBJ did not have half of this man’s education, but the diff is clear…. GOD SAVE NIG.

  17. Alibaba makka

    July 24, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Nigerians must learn to adapt to changes that wil lead to development, bt such procedures has been faced with wide mis-management in nigeria. Gud help gej with gud intentions

  18. LPS

    July 24, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    £20???God is watching you!

  19. Patricia

    July 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    God i dnt know why u sit up there and allow this stupid politicians to toy with ur pple. Pls come and save this nation.

    • gbeborun

      July 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Typical Nigerian mindset, God won’t come down from heaven to save the country but people can be inspired with fire in thier bellies to fight for a change, it is the little acts we ignore that make it worse, i don’t live in Nigeria but the last time i visited i made sure i didn’t bribe any police man 20 kobo,i offered them biscuits and water simply as human kindness,they get paid so i REFUSED to bribe, am not gullible to think that single act will change things but i know if we all together make those little decisions to change things then the change we desire will happen and that is what God wants you to do NOT sit down helpless and feeling sorry for yourself “e go better”.

  20. christy

    July 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    @jfk,blcas of 5k??

  21. Mee

    July 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Like someone said earlier this is another opportunity for “ghost pregnant women”. N5k is really not going to help anyone. it wont pay for scans or tests or the things you need for delivery and stuff. they should seek ways of better educating people and making them aware of healthy pre-pregnancy and post pregnancy habits and improve or update hospital facilities.

  22. Sweet Mama Africa

    July 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Its a great initiative that’s if we can see it work effectively. This can help poor pregnant women and save a lot of babies in the long run. Antenatal care is vital.

  23. Tobechidaniel

    July 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    What’s a 5000 naira payment to the benefits of having improved healthcare facilities and trained medical personnel who know what they are doing?
    What’s the benefit of this to having an actual awareness campaign to educate these women on the advantages of pre-natal testing and care and in the process, allay their fears?

  24. Amber

    July 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I laugh in shorthand….money can be the part of problem quite alright but I think any woman who gets pregnant must have known it takes a lot of expenses.the main issue for FG to tackle is the health system..the quality of medical attention given.all the fake clinics should be fished out

  25. kokie

    July 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm


  26. Princess of Zion

    July 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    It is a good initiative, but I think the amount needs to be more substantial and as someone rightly pointed out, they need to work out the logistics to make it a truly befitting initiative. I think good ideas come out but they need to be polished and built on.

  27. Emeka Onyewuchi

    July 24, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Where does one begin with Nigeria Rulers and hair brained ideas used to fool the electorate, N5000!! What utter rubbish! Is that to garner votes or for “remember me when you are thinking of baby names”???
    For a nation that has various tiers of government, there are no up to date medical facilities, talk less of schools to afford a good all round education that would aid in combating the high neonatal, and post mortality levels.
    What will the money cover? Delivery costs, tests, scans, CS, bed, medication, etc), as a Nation Nigeria can not move forward unless she unburdens her self of each and every thieving literate and illiterate money grabbing mosquito in government.
    Besides by the time the not so well off in the village get the money, many a hand behind the back would have got their cut.
    Nigerian women do not need N5000 they need better representation, better schools, roads, hospitals, equal rights, job opportunities, and affordable housing and living.

  28. faith

    July 27, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Lol @ Pregnant women

  29. Najeeb A faragai

    July 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Mhm Nigeria we are good in planning but poor in implementation. Let see!!!

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