The National Health Insurance Authority(NHIA) has disclosed that the agency will partner Nigerian Bar Association(NBA) on operational guidelines and innovative financing to attain Universal Health Coverage(UHC) target by 2030.

The Director-General of NHIA, Prof. Mohammed Sambo disclosed this when he received the NBA President at the agency’s corporate headquarters in Abuja

Sambo said, “NBA would be part of operational guideline for NHIA, and that it would also be part of the innovative financing committee of the organisation.

“We have established a committee on innovative financing, NBA will be part of that committee, we have gone to Rwanda, and we have seen the way they operate their innovative financing committee.

“The system has made their health insurance to be more effective, we are going to be working together until we meet our target of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) before 2030.

Sambo also commended the desire of the NBA to step up the enrollment of lawyers for the insurance scheme, adding that such a move is gladdening.

“NHIA will not only engage the lawyers with training, and that they will be captured in the forthcoming summit plan to be organised by the agency.”

Earlier in his remarks the NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau, advised its members to embrace the nation’s health insurance scheme, saying its benefits are enormous.

Maikyau said the association had gone through the National Health Insurance Act (NHIA) and was encouraged by the provisions in the document.

He commended his predecessor, Olumide Apata, who began the process of initiating the health insurance scheme for members.

Maikyau said NBA had enjoyed a good relationship with the agency initiated by the Apata administration, adding that he is willing to sustain the collaboration for the benefit of both organisations.

“We want to align with the objectives of NHIS, especially on the economic benefits of having healthcare access for all Nigerians. A healthy nation guarantees productivity.

“The NBA has perused NHIA and is delighted that health insurance is now mandatory for all Nigerians; NBA’s first responsibility is to ensure member’s well-being and healthcare rights they can enjoy.

“Programme is being held to persuade lawyers to undertake the health insurance, 1000 names have been compiled to take advantage of free health insurance cover.

“Premium will be paid for this 1000, an additional 1000 members is being planned to cover in the second year of our administration.

“NHIS can call on NBA whenever the need arises to discharge its duty, we will interrogate where necessary and have a purposeful interpretation of the law.

“We will be available for training that will be conducted in NHIS so as to understand the workings of NHIA,” he said.

Maikyau also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to support the NHIA in the area of funding, noting that additional funding is needed by the agency to be able to carry out its mandate.

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