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FG commits N486m to Benue health insurance scheme

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The Federal Government has committed about N485 million into the Benue State Health Insurance Scheme (BNSHIS) to tackle the health challenges of vulnerable groups in the state.

Also, the Benue government has fully keyed into the scheme and spent over N1 billion as counterpart fund for the construction of office accommodation and payment of staff salaries.

Addressing the 23 local council chairmen, directors of local government health authorities and other critical stakeholders at a sensitisation workshop in Makurdi, the Executive Secretary of BNSHIS, Dr. Kenneth Korve, urged the participants to educate their subjects at the grassroots on the need to get registered to access benefits from the scheme.

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Korve said the target registrants to benefit from the scheme would include civil servants, senior citizens, children, pregnant women and other vulnerable groups in the state.

He explained that the fund provided by the Federal Government was meant for children under five years, widows, people with disabilities, pregnant women and the aged.

Urging the local council chairmen to quickly key into the programme by contributing 25 per cent of their income while the civil servants would contribute five percent of their salaries, the ES added that such monies would be remitted to the agency for out-of-pocket healthcare services, as it is done in some countries.

Benue State Coordinator, NHIS, Christopher Oko, said, as a Federal Government policy, the agency has been collaborating with states to ensure that every Nigerian, such as artisans, civil servants and the vulnerable have access to Universal Health Care (UHC) by not necessarily paying from their pockets.

The Executive Secretary, Benue State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Ben Ageda, said the programme was over-due in the state, stressing that the board had been waiting for its implementation for long.

Ageda further assured of the board’s readiness to partner the scheme in the people’s interest, especially those at the grassroots.
Speaking on behalf of the 23 local council chairmen of the state, the Chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Caleb Aba, appreciated Governor Samuel Ortom for signing the scheme into law.

Aba, who is also the Chairman of Guma Local Council, lauded the ES of BNSHIS for his tireless efforts in ensuring that the scheme became a reality in the state.

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