The Federal Government is working towards establishing a compulsory Health Insurance Scheme where government pays the premium for the poor, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has disclosed.
Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, quoted Osinbajo as saying that the proposed scheme was part of the Next Level agenda.
The All Progressive Congress, APC, had on November 18, inaugurated its campaign for the 2019 general elections tagged `Next Level’.
Mr Osinbajo spoke on Tuesday night, as Guest of Honour, at the Invest Africa forum hosted by the publishers of Africa Report magazine, which held at London’s Royal Society hall.
“On healthcare, to cut the long story short, where we are going is the National Health Insurance.
“At the moment, we have National Health Insurance, which is not compulsory.
“So, we are looking at compulsory National Health Insurance and we are also looking at how to pay the premium, especially for the poorest.”
The vice president, who took questions from the publishers of Africa Report and members of the audience, explained that the plan was to have a co-payment arrangement.
He said that the government would provide payments of premium or free medical care for 40 per cent which is the poorest segment, and the other 60 per cent will be compulsory co-payments for formal and informal workers.
Osinbajo said that at the moment, most people who sought medical help paid out of pockets, adding that it was one of the reasons why Nigeria had poor health indices at the moment.
On the prospects of the Petroleum Industry Bill, the vice president said it could still be signed into law, after all the necessary amendments had been made, possibly before the end of the 8th Assembly.
“We hope that the bill will become law before the end of the 8th assembly.”
On the chances of APC winning the forthcoming 2019 elections, Osinbajo said that in the 16 years of the PDP rule, the party had nothing tangible to show Nigerians despite earning over 382 billion dollars in oil revenue between 2010- 2014.
He said that the PDP had not cured itself of corruption and urged Nigerians to ignore the party in the coming elections as it has nothing to offer them.
Mr Osinbajo pointed that since returning to power in 2015, the APC-led government had invested over N2.7trillion on infrastructural development, at a time the country was earning less.
On the privatisation of some of the public enterprises, Mr Osinbajo said that the exercise, especially in the electricity power sector, was “poorly done” under the PDP government.
He referred to a trending video of a 2014 interview where the PDP presidential candidate actually confessed to the failure of the past PDP president as in the power sector.
Speaking on the strategy of the government in improving the quality of education in Nigeria, he disclosed that the Federal Government had evolved a plan to partner with state governments to improve the quality of education at all levels.
“What we have is a 10-year programme; but we expect to deliver at a much shorter quarter.
“The main issue really is that funding education is difficult just from the budget,’’ he said.
As part of the Invest Africa forum, a dinner was held in honour of the vice president after the Question and Answer session.
Mr Osinbajo, on Wednesday, received APC leaders and members of Buhari/ Osinbajo 2019 support groups in the UK.