Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has secured an approval from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to invest in and operate health management services across Nigeria, to amongst other objectives, cut down the reliance of Nigerians on foreign medical services.
In a statement from NNPC’s Group General, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, the corporation stated that its ongoing efforts to provide qualitative healthcare services to Nigerians in all walks of life had through the approval received a major boost.
According to the corporation, the formal accreditation of the NNPC Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) by the NHIS meant that it would be able to help Nigerians access good healthcare services without having to travel to foreign hospitals.
“The accreditation which granted the National Oil Company the authority to establish and operate a functional HMO comes as a forerunner to the enviable plan by the corporation to activate a first rate medical delivery system across the country with potential to halt the ugly trend of medical tourism by Nigerians to other jurisdictions,” said the statement.
It explained that the Managing Director of the NNPC HMO, Dr. Musa Ribadu, said when he received the accreditation, that NNPC, being a corporation known for quality performance, was ready to improve the scheme and offer real-time value to the prospective beneficiaries of its packages.
According to him, the NNPC HMO Limited was poised to be the most preferred HMO in Nigeria and a role model that NHIS would be proud of its unique healthcare offerings.
“We are confident that our entry into the market will increase the national coverage statistics by at least 1 – 2 digits. We have better knowledge of the oil and gas sector that can attract active participation within this sector for the scheme,” he said.
He also explained that the initiative to invest in this venture was part of NNPC’s plans to diversify its revenue base and contribute to the corporation’s bottom line.
The statement noted that in his remarks, the Executive Secretary, NHIS, Dr. Muhammed Nasir Sambo, expressed confidence in the capacity of the NNPC to fully utilise the opportunity offered by the NHIS accreditation to operate an efficient HMO that will deliver good healthcare services to Nigerians.
“I am not unaware that NNPC is one of the most organised organizations in Nigeria and since they are well organised we have no doubt in our minds that NNPC will do whatever it takes to uphold the virtues and tenets of health insurance in Nigeria,” said Sambo, in the statement.