December 1, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

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Reps C’ttee endorses NHIS’ insurance programme for individuals, groups

By EricJames Ochigbo

The House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare Services has endorsed the Individual and Family Social Insurance Programme (GIFSIP) of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Tanko Sununu (APC-Kebbi), disclosed this in an interview with newsmen shortly after the management of NHIS appeared before the committee for the 2022 budget defence on Wednesday in Abuja.

Sununu said that the programme would ensure that people at the grassroots benefit from the scheme regardless of their statuses.

He urged members of the National Assembly to include GIFSIP as part of their constituency projects and outreach programmes.

Sununu explained that the measure would also enable the lawmakers to choose the particular group of individuals or groups that would benefit from the programme.

“It is a pool of money they are generating so that everybody will be his brother’s keeper; that is why we endorsed it,  because you have the right to determine the particular individual you want them to benefit.

“You can go for people who are 60 and above, or go for people who are blind, or for only farmers, so you have the right to choose who you want to benefit.

“Why we also endorsed it is because you are free to go to NHIS and ask why your people are dissatisfied with the quality of services and it will be tracked along the line, it will be detected and corrections will be made,’’ he said.

Earlier, the committee queried the non-utilisation of the sum of three million naira in the 2020 budgetary allocation to the NHIS.

The lawmakers demanded that the scheme should furnish the committee with documents and account for the unspent fund.

Responding, the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, explained that of the N144 million released to the agency in the 2020 budget, over N140 million was utilised.

He said that the N3 million was rolled over to the 2021 budgetary allocation and asked the committee for more time to provide details of how it was utilised.

Sambo told the committee that of N740 million appropriated in 2021, over N400 million had been utilised by the agency.

On the GIFSIP, the executive secretary said that the programme was a platform that allowed individuals, families and groups to enjoy health insurance, saying that the aim was to ensure that no one was left behind.

Sambo said that philanthropists and members of the National Assembly could pay premium and their beneficiaries and constituents would enjoy free healthcare in their various localities.

The executive secretary described the programme as a “masterstroke’’ that would ensure the all Nigerians were covered under the health insurance scheme.

He said that a premium of N15 million would cover 1000 persons; saying that taking care of the health of the people would put them on the path of sustainable development. (NAN)