Dr Niyi Oginni, the Chairman, Forum of CEOs, State Health Insurance Agencies in Nigeria,
says state governments are targeting to achieve 50 per cent enrollment into health insurance schemes in the next five years.
Oginni told Nigeria News Agency on Friday, on the sideline of the 3rd annual edition of Legislative Summit on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Abuja.
According to him, the eight states implementing the scheme have so far enrolled 1.1 million within a year, representing 0.61 per cent.
He said the agencies that started within a year in eight states had already started providing services to those who enrolled.
He added that “by the time the 36 states of the federation enroll all residents into states’ health insurance schemes, a great percentage of
health coverage would be achieved and within five years, we would be able to achieve 50 per cent coverage.”
The official said that the template for the enrollment would soon be domesticated in states.
Oginni, who earlier spoke on ”Health Insurance Decentralisation’’ during technical session on “Strategic Framework for UHC in Nigeria” at the legislative
summit, said that the journey to decentralise health insurance started in 2014.
He added that the National Assembly committees on health, development partners, civil society organisations and professional associations
in the health sector achieved the drafting of the National Health Act, passed into law and assented to in 2014.
He explained that “the key achievement in the reform is the establishment of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
“BHCPF is to comprise not less than one per cent of Federal Government revenues in addition to donor contributions and funds from philanthropists.’’
According to him, BHCPF is an intervention fund, a panacea to fund the health financing deficit in Nigeria and the principal funding vehicle for the Basic
Minimum Package of Health Services (BMPHS)
“So far, the single most important social security that can support Nigeria’s aspiration to achieve UHC providing coverage for the vulnerable.
“The purpose of the fund is to increase the fiscal space and overall financing to the health sector to assist Nigeria achieve UHC.”
The chairman said that the National Council on Health adopted the memorandum on implementation of State-Supported Health Insurance
Scheme (SSHI) in March 2015.
He noted that key resolutions from the council included: “health insurance must be mandatory for all; SSHIS should create a budget line to
cover those who cannot afford to pay premiums under an equity fund.
“Also, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will develop a model legal template to be partly or wholly adapted by states.
“State laws must align with NHIS Act and the National Health Act 2014 should facilitate collaboration and composition of SSHIS boards to
include stakeholders such as NHIS, civil society.”
Oginni, who is the Executive Secretary, Osun State Health Insurance Agency, however, made some recommendations to achieving efficiency in
the implementation of SSHIS in Nigeria.
The recommendations are that NHIS should be proactive in its responsibility of providing technical support and capacity building for SSHIS.
“There is an urgent need for NHIS to convene the ICT summit for UHC.
“There is urgent need for the National Secretariat of the BHCPF to review its implementation to allow seamless alignment with SSHIS and the original purpose.
Edited by Shittu Obassa/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
News analysis: Experts say Egypt’s COVID-19 coexistence plan to benefit economy, while urging caution
“These measures would completely stimulate the economy, ease the sufferings of the daily workers, and increase the levels of factories operation,” said Waleed Gaballah, professor of financial and economic jurisdictions at Cairo University.
Lifting the night curfew is very important to facilitate the movement of workers, many of whom are working in places far away from home, Gaballah, also a member of the Egyptian Association for Political Economy, told Xinhua.
Restaurants, cafes, cinemas, and sporting clubs will be allowed to reopen on July 27, with a capacity initially capped at 25 percent, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in a televised press briefing on Tuesday.
Mosques and churches will be allowed to reopen, but weekly mass prayers on Friday and Sunday will remain suspended. Beaches and parks will continue to be closed.
Public transport will be allowed to run from 4 a.m. local time (0200 GMT) until midnight, while shops and malls will be closed by 9 p.m. and restaurants by 10 p.m.
The economic expert said the “Egyptian economy has lost 125 billion Egyptian pounds (7.74 billion United States dollars) of the GNP (Gross National Product) since the virus appeared in February,” adding that the growth rate, expected to reach 5.8 percent in the current fiscal year ending in June, has declined to less than 4 percent.
The state budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021, which is difficult to be changed based on the constitution, puts the government before challenges because it allocated high expenditures for education, health, and increase of salaries, according to the expert.
The government will be forced to raise the rate of borrowing or take strict austerity measures if the revenues from tourism and taxes could not cover the gape of expenditures, he added.
Whether the Egyptian economy could restore its level before the spread of coronavirus, it also depends on the international partners, he said, adding that the Egyptian decision to resume air traffic and international tourism wouldn’t be effective without other countries’ approval.
He further added that the return of international trade will positively impact the Suez Canal revenues, and the opening of activities in the Gulf countries would attract the Egyptian workers and increase Egyptians’ transactions abroad.
Magdy al-Dahshan, former deputy manager of Al-Azhar Medicine University, agreed that the recent government decisions are “good for gradually restoring the ordinary life.”
“Reopening of cafes, restaurants and entertainment centers at 25 percent could contain further increase of the infections,” al-Dahshan told Xinhua.
The number of infections is high now, but the virus seems to be going to stay for the time being and no country could afford to endure more economic losses, he said.
Gamal Esmat, consular to the World Health Organization, warns that the lifting of restrictions would possibly further increase the COVID-19 cases.
He said he would prefer the government to open activities in provinces with fewer cases, adding that though the death rate in Egypt is “moderate,” the spread of the virus has lasted for five months which is a long time.
Egypt reported 61,130 cases of COVID-19 and 2,533 deaths in the lastest update of the health ministry on Thursday.
Kano State Govt. conducts 8,273 COVID-19 samples test
Kano State Government says it has conducted 8, 273 coronavirus (COVID-19) samples test
since the outbreak of the pandemic in the state in April.
The Kano State Ministry of Health disclosed this via its official Twitter handle @KNSMOH on Tuesday.
It noted that “a total of 8,273 samples of COVID-19 were tested in Kano State.”
It disclosed that 21 new confirmed cases of the virus were recorded and 32 patients discharged in the state as at Monday, June 15.
Accordingly, the state had so far recorded a total of 1,158 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which, 450 were active cases, 658 discharged and 50 deaths.
The ministry urged residents of the state to observe safety protocols, personal hygiene, and use face mask, hand washing, as well as social distancing to
stem further spread of the pandemic.
It also provided toll free numbers: 0909 399 5333; 0909 399 5444, 0800 268 4356.
Edited By: HadizaMohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
Youths stage peaceful protest over security challenges in Katsina State
Hundreds of youths in Katsina State, on Tuesday staged peaceful protest over the increasing rate of banditry, kidnappings and other security challenges in the state.
The protest was organised under the auspices of National Youths Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the protest was monitored by the Commissioner of Police, Sanusi Buba,who also addressed the protestors.
The youths had planned to converge on the Katsina Emir’s Palace, but their plan was scuttled by security agents, who blocked all roads leading to the palace.
The protestors, however, passed through Kofar-Durbi to GRA carrying placards with different inscriptions like: “stop the bloodshed”, “do the needful before they finish us” and “banditry and kidnapping are our monsters” among others.
The security agents also blocked all roads leading to the Government House to prevent the youth from getting there.
The state Chairman of NYCN, Katsina State, Lukman Umar-Kankia, said that the state, which was known for peace, is now facing mounting security challenges, including banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling, among others.
“Bandits operate with brazen impunity, their audacity is appalling. In broad daylight, they sack villages and annihilate the people.
“They rustle animals, raze markets and reduce houses to rubble; they defoliate farms and pillage resources.
“They rape women and abduct men and demand a ransom their relations couldn’t afford,” he said.
He therefore urged the Federal and state governments to intensify efforts in protecting peoples lives and property.
“The government should employ more police for the affected areas, proffer stiffer punishment for anyone found aiding bandits and kidnappers,” he said.
Addressing the youths, the police commissioner, assured them that the government and security agents were doing their best to overcome the security challenges in the state.
“We are aware that we have challenges, these challenges were built up over 30 years, yet some Nigerians want these problems that have been accumulated over 30 years to be solved within a period of months.
“We are determined more than ever before to ensure that these problems are solved, and that is why we have joint security operations to bring the situation under control,” he said.
Buba admonished the youths not to be misguided, and thanked them for conducting themselves in a matured manner.
“Thank God it is a peaceful protest, there was no any violence and when I talked to them, they listened.”
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
UN chief condemns terrorist attacks in Nigeria’s Borno State
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday strongly condemned Saturday’s terrorist attacks in Monguno and Nganzai local government areas in Nigeria’s Borno State, which killed dozens of civilians, injured several others, and damaged a major humanitarian facility.
The secretary-general conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims, the people and government of Nigeria and wished a speedy recovery to those injured. He reiterated the need to protect civilians and humanitarian personnel, assets and facilities at all times in accordance with international humanitarian law, said Farhan Haq, Guterres’ deputy spokesman, in a statement.
The secretary-general reaffirmed the United Nations’ continued solidarity with the government and people of Nigeria in their efforts to fight terrorism and violent extremism, said the statement.
Saturday’s attacks were carried out by suspected Boko Haram militants. The terrorist group has been trying to establish an Islamist state in northeastern Nigeria, and has extended its attacks to countries in the Lake Chad Basin.