House Queries NHIS over Unutilized 2020 Budgetary Allocation

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  • Endorses inclusion of NHIS in constituency projects

By Udora Orizu

The House of Representatives Wednesday quizzed the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) over the unutilized N3 million in the N144 million budgeted for the agency in 2020.

Members of the House Committee on Health Services, during the 2022 budget defence session with the agency discovered that N3 million was not utilized of the amount released to it in 2020.

The lawmakers therefore sought to know what happened to the remaining fund.

In his response, the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, while reiterating that out of the N144 million that was released for the 2020 budget, over N140 million were utilized, added that the N3 million was rolled over to the 2021 budgetary allocation.

He pleaded with the lawmakers to give them time in their next meeting to provide details of how it was utilized.

In his ruling, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Tanko Sununu, directed that they provide the N3 million that was not utilized.

Also at the session, the lawmakers endorsed the inclusion of the National Health Insurance Scheme in constituency projects.

The Chairman of the Committee, Sununu, who announced this, said that this would ensure that people at the grassroots benefit from the scheme regardless of their status.

He explained that the measure would also enable the lawmakers to choose the particular group of individuals or group that would benefit.

Addressing newsmen shortly after, the Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Sambo, said that they have developed a platform called Group Individual and Family Social Insurance Programme, to bring individuals, families as well as groups to pay premium on behalf of people in their communities.

He said: “This platform can bring in individuals, families, people from various groups and people from diaspora. It can facilitate philanthropists to come and get premium on behalf of people in their communities. 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.”