asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent expenditure on health and social services in Nigeria is now to be reduced; and for what reason.
No reduction in the budget expenditure on existing health and social services is at present contemplated. The Nigerian Development Plan is, however, now under review locally; and I cannot say at present what modification of schemes originally projected for the next five years may be recommended to me, in order to maintain the necessary balance, within the funds likely to be available, between welfare schemes and economic development.
Could my right hon. Friend say whether this modification is likely to take place? In view of the very urgent needs still most inadequately met, does not he agree that it is undesirable to contemplate any modification to the detriment of the social services of that Colony?
I am not sure yet whether any modification will be proposed, and, if so, what it will be. I am very conscious of the very urgent need to which my hon. Friend has called attention.
It there is a modification it means that some other existing social service will have to be cut. Does not my right hon. Friend agree that that is very serious indeed?
We are now considering whether any, and if so, what, modification will be made. It will be a recommendation, and I shall have to consider it.