Health News

Reps ask NHIS to provide unutilized 3m in budgetary allocation

…..as NHIS introduces new package to benefit Nigerians

By Gift Chapi Odekina

The House of Representatives has asked the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to provide the sum of N3 million that was not utilised in the N144million budgetary allocation for agency in 2020.

Chairman, House committee on Health services, Hon. Tanko Sonunu gave the directive on Wednesday in Abuja during a budget defence session with NHIS.

Executive Secretary, NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo who appeared before the committee explained that out of the N144 million that was released for 2020 budget, over N140 million were utilised.

Prof. Sambo also said for 2021, out of over N740 million appropriated for, over N400 million have been utilised.

Members of the committee while questioning the agency on its expenditure for 2020 discovered that N3million was not utilised of the amount released.

The agency in its response said the N3 million was rolled over to the 2021 budgetary allocation.

In its quest to further inquire of the said descripancy, the Executive Secretary of NHIS pleaded the Sonunu led committee to give them time in their next meeting to provide details of how it was utilised.

Meanwhile, the NHIS has disclosed that Nigerians who are not in the government or private sector payroll can now benefit from the National Health Insurance Scheme through a new package called Giftship.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after the budget defence of the agency, Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo explained that “Giftship is a platform that can bring in individuals, families, people from various groups, people from diaspora. It can facilitate philanthropists to come and get premium on behalf of people in their communities”.

According to Prof. Sambo, this programme is also tagged in the constituency project where members of the national assembly can put some funds in the National Health Insurance Scheme. They can do it to cover patients in their own communities.

“So this is a platform. We call it a master stroke that will bring about the total coverage of the Nigerian population. If you’re a philanthropist, you can pay like N15 million and cover over one thousand people. If you pay N30 million, you can cover two thousand people”,he said.

The agency noted that the new platform has the same package with the already existing one.

END

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