The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha said the Federal government has concluded plans to kick start the long-awaited Universal Health Coverage program in a bid to make quality healthcare service affordable and accessible to 83 million vulnerable Nigerians.
The Secretary made the disclosure when the delegation from World Health Organization (WHO) led by its Country Representative, Dr. Walter Mulombo Kazadi alongside the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Prof. Mohammed Nasir Sambo, paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
SGF said that the signing into law of the National Health Insurance Authority Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari signaled a new lease of life to the health sector, which would make universal health coverage accessible to the vulnerable in every nooks and cranny of the country.
The Director of information, Willie Bassey in a statement, Friday, quoted the SGF saying: “In May of this year, we had the President signed the bill, now made it to an act to create first, the agency that is going to administer the universal health insurance coverage to cater for the 83 million vulnerable mentioned, and to also, superintend over the general administration of the insurance coverage across the length and breadth of this country.”
He thanked the World Health Organization (WHO) for the technical and financial support it has received, which has assisted the country in its fight against Covid-19 in the country.
The SGF according to the statement further stated that one of the multiplier effects of treating sicknesses is the impoverishment of the families affected because of the out-of-pocket expenses being expended in the course of treatment.
He added that signing into law the NHIA, would go a long way to reduce poverty and improve the economic lives of Nigerians.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Prof. Mohammed Nasir Sambo thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the bold step he has taken to sign into law the National Health Insurance Act.
He said that the singular feat achieved by Mr. President would place Nigeria on a trajectory of attaining universal health coverage for all Nigerians in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.
The statement added that the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative to Nigeria, Dr. Walter Mulombo Kazadi, congratulated Buhari for signing into law the National Health Insurance Act (NHIA), which would make healthcare services accessible to the vulnerable in society and by extension, improve the health and economic status of Nigerians.