SIF Champion Spotlight: Senator Sefiu Adegbenga Kaka
Senator Sefiu Adegbenga Kaka was one of the prime movers behind the drafting and passage of the Nigeria’s National Health Bill, passed in February 2014. An influential member of the Senate Health Committee, he has long been a proponent of publicly provided primary health care in Nigeria and his involvement in the passage of this law marks just another of the Nigerian Senator’s achievements.
Senator Kaka represents Ogun East Senatorial District in the National Assembly of Nigeria. He was last elected on 9 April 2011, took office on 6 June 2011, and his current term ends on 5 June 2015.
The Senator did not always envision himself in politics. He was a passive political supporter from his teens up until he earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1978. In 1980, he began his career with Livestock Feeds PLC (of which he ultimately became Director from 2004-2011). He also worked in the agricultural development sector for the Ogun State government. It was during this time that the Sen. Kaka’s passion for an egalitarian society was shaped and this motivated him to run for election to the National Assembly of Nigeria.
Sen. Kaka, who represented Nigeria at SIF’s Second Colloquium on Sustainable Immunization Financing in August 2013 and at other SIF events, recognizes the need for public vaccination financing.
He and Senate Health Committee Chairman Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa convinced their fellow legislators of this need and were able to consolidate a critical mass of support to ensure the bill’s passage through both parliamentary chambers from 2012-2014.
Although the Bill mandates a public vaccine budget, Sen. Kaka cautions that approved immunization budgets are not always disbursed in their entirety. He and his committee members will be monitoring the situation. In his words, “immunization is a holistic and continuous exercise that cannot be half-heartedly executed.”
The Sabin SIF Program team is proud to recognize Sen. Kaka as our newest SIF champion.