The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has signed $2.3 million corporate agreement with the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank to ensure universal health insurance coverage in Nigeria and to fast track health insurance in the country.
Signing the agreement yesterday in Abuja on behalf of the federal government, the Acting Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Abdulraman Sambo, said that the project would go a long way in providing health insurance cover for all Nigerians.
He said that IFC would provide unconditional grant of 60 percent of the total fund of $2.3 million for the project while NHIS would provide the balance of 40 percent.
He said: “We are looking at ways and means of fast tracking the enrolment of the majority of Nigerians into the various programmes of NHIS and identifying the sources of finance that will ensure that these people have some form of health cover.”
“The total cost of the project is $2.3 million. IFC is to provide unconditional grant of 60 percent of the fund. NHIS is to pay 40 percent of the fund. The project is for six months. At the end of the six months, NHIS will start implementing the recommendations,” he added.
Stressing that the project would look at policy and framework issues in Nigeria, he said that the selection of the company for the project was based on international bidding process.
“This is a good day for Nigeria. This is a good day for health insurance in Nigeria and we hope in the short run, we will start seeing improvement in the health sector,” he stated.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Lead Health Specialist, IFC World Bank Group, Dr. Khama Rogo noted that the future of financing health in Nigeria lies in insurance, adding that the government’s budgets cannot be enough to record success in the sector.
But harping on the need for reforms in Nigeria, he said: “We have to make sure we have the right system in place and also the desirable efficiencies in place”.
He went on: “We hope you will take advantage of this to get what is happening in other parts of the world. This collaboration should make you deliver the best health services to Nigerians.”