The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has requested the sum of N32 billion for its activities in the 2017 fiscal year.
Executive Secretary of the scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja during a budget defense session held by the House of Representatives Committee on Health.
Yusuf said the amount was targeted at providing health insurance for five million Nigerians in the hinter land.
He said in 2016, the scheme was restricted to total envelope of N129 million out of which only N54 million was released to the agency.
Yusuf said of the amount released, N53 million was spent across the six geo-political zones on pregnant women and children below the age of five, putting the 2016 budget performance at 99.9 per cent.
The scribe said the Internationally Generated Revenue in 2016 was N58.8 million and that N17.9 million, reflecting 25 per cent, was paid into the federation account.
He said the organisation, however, was projecting N64 billion in 2017.
“In 2017, we are asking for N32 billion; currently, only four million Nigerians out of the 180 million are covered by the scheme.
“I have an aggressive progression to cover 10 million Nigerians but we are reducing it to five million Nigerians basically pregnant women and children under the age of five because of the economic situation.
“Our goal is to get out of Abuja into the hinterlands to cover those that cannot cover their selves,’’ he said.
In his respond, Rep. David Ombugadu (Nasarawa-PDP), a member of the committee, tasked parliamentarians on the implementation of the National Health Act.
According to him, the Act stipulates that one per cent of the consolidated revenue of the country should be allocated to Primary Health Development Agency and the NHIS.
He said if the Act was implemented, NHIS would not be asking for additional funding but would be busy saving the lives of children and pregnant women.
The lawmaker said 2,300 children die every day, saying that parliamentarians must seat up to task relevant authorities to release the amount canvassed for by the scheme.
He said the House under the leadership of the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dugara, would do everything possible to ensure adequate funding for the scheme.
Also speaking, Rep. Babangida Ibrahim (Katsina-APC) said it would almost be impossible for the committee to generate N30 billion for the scheme.
He suggested that at the end of 2017 budget defence, the committee should seat with the scheme and initiate how to improve on the funding of the scheme ahead of 2018 budget.
The committee however commended the scheme for the zeal to transparently save lives, expressing readiness to partner with the scheme in achieving its set goals.
Petrol Subsidy Not Completely Gone, Says Minister
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has stated that contrary to popular belief, the federal government has not completely removed petrol subsidy.
Speaking on Channels’ Politics Today, the minister said: “We are still trying to manage this bumpy start. We have not been able to get to that 100 percent removal of subsidy from the foreign exchange end.
“If we were to take it out completely and allow people to access foreign exchange from the parallel market and allow people to import the product, the price of the pump will even be more.
“The Federal Government, knowing the impact it will have on the people, decided that they are still going to manage this situation.”
Speaking on the importation of petrol from Niger, the Minister expressed that the importation of fuel from the Niger Republic is not something Nigerians should be embarrassed about.
He expressed that Nigerians should be proud that the Federal Government is set to resume the importation of petroleum products from its neighbour.
‘Your Report On Lekki Capable Of Setting Nigeria On Fire’ — Lai Writes CNN
JustLai MohammedMinister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has expressed that the CNN report on the Lekki Tollgate shooting of October 20 2020 is capable of setting the country on fire.
Recall that CNN had published an investigative report titled, ‘How a bloody night of bullets and brutality quashed a young protest movement in Nigeria,’ claiming soldiers fired live ammunition directly at protesters at the Lekki toll gate.
But Nigeria’s Minister for Information denied the report of the US-based cable television, calling for a sanction on CNN over the report, adding that the report on the Lekki tollgate incident was highly irresponsible.
Reacting in another story titled, ‘Nigeria threatens CNN with sanctions but provides no evidence Lekki toll gate investigation is inaccurate’, CNN maintained that it stood by its earlier report on the Lekki tollgate incident.
In a petition dated November 23 and addressed to Mr. Jonathan Hawkins VP, Communications, CNN Centre Atlanta, Georgia U.S, the federal government demanded “an immediate and exhaustive investigation into its report on the Lekki Toll Gate incident to determine its authenticity and conformity to basic standards of journalism.”
Lai Mohammed, who signed the petition, said if the US-based media organisation failed to carry out its demand, the Nigerian government will “take any action within its laws’’ to prevent CNN from aggravating the End SARS crisis.
Amaechi Apologises For Abuja-Kaduna Train Breakdown
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has apologised to Nigerians for the breakdown at the Abuja-Kaduna railway which occurred between November 18 and November 20.
The former Governor of Rivers State stated this at the Moniya rail station on Monday while inspecting the ongoing rail project in Ibadan.
Amaechi pointed out that the Chinese have been called to attend to the problem as the federal government does not expect any mechanical fault at this early stage.
Ameachi said, “I want to apologise to Nigerians over what happened at the Abuja-Kaduna rail station.”
“We now have new locomotives, and we’ve called the Chinese because we never expected the mechanical fault at this early stage.”
“On behalf of the Federal Government, the ministry and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), we apologise to Nigerians, and I’ve instructed the NRC to fix it or invite the Chinese.”
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