By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
The reinstated Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Professor Yusuf Usman on Thursday, said over ninety per cent of Nigeria’s population eligible for the scheme have not been covered just as he urged Nigerians not to be distracted by what they hear on the media.
Similarly, Usman said he would not in any way be discouraged in his efforts at providing the required services to the teeming Nigerian population.
” It is corruption fighting us and we will fight back to keep faith with our responsibilities to Nigerians”, he stressed.
In the same vein, he noted that alot need to be done to realising health for all Nigerians.
Speaking in Sokoto at the opening of a public hearing on the proposed executive bill by the state government for passage into law to enable the take off of a contributory health insurance for residents in the state, Usman noted that there was the need to ensure health for all by bringing it to the door steps of the people.
Memoranda and other submissions were received at the auditorium hall of the Sultan Muhammadu Maccido Institute of Quranic and General, Sokoto venue of the one day public hearing session organised by the Sokoto state House of Assembly.
According to him, ” we are working for the people to actualise the desire for achieving health for all especially the poor.”
The NHIS Boss said Sokoto has been at the forefront on health matters, stressing that ” I could recall I was in the state 2016 where the Sultan, Governor Tambuwal, District Heads, Religious leaders, Development partners,NGOs among other stakeholders were present on health insurance advocacy.
” U am happy to noted that Sokoto is the first to initiate the passage of health insurance bill for its people”, he said.
He said the scheme would continue to mobilise Nigerians to key in as measure that would guarantee the health desires of every citizen, urging other states to replicate Sokoto state.
Earlier in his remarks, the state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Shehu Balarabe Kakale said the state government was concerned with passion for quality healthcare services for people in the state, noting that the executive bill was timely and necessary due to the health challenges and the need to provide easy access to facilities to the poor at low cost.
The Commissioner disclosed that the state had earmarked N100 million for the take off of the health contributory scheme fund.
According to Kakale who advocated the allocation of 2% of the state Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) to be remitted to the proposed health scheme also said 1% of LGs revenue be put to the scheme.
He also volunteered 10% of his salary as contribution to the fund while urging members of the Sokoto Traders Association to contribute N200 each on monthly basis, hitherto, NLC, Association of Hides and Skin members and other relevant bodies to do same.
The Speaker, Sokoto state House of Assembly, Hon Salihu Maidaji, represented by the House Leader, Garba Bello Yabo said the event was organised to have the input of public to ensuring the bill was all encompassing ad well reflect their aspirations.
He noted that the NHIS which did not cover some major areas of health concerns was primarily aimed at easy access of healthcare services at affordable cost.
” In line with our legislative responsibilities, we require an objective, factual and timely information for informed decisions for the benefit of electorates.
” Therefore, the assembly deems it fit to ensure public hearing is conducted on every bill that affects the lives of the citizens.
” The scheme will cover all residents, all sexes and ages, all ailments and will be run from primary to tertiary health facilities across the the state”, he explained