- Only 4% of Nigerians Have Health Insurance
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Ms. Yewande Sadiku, has said about four per cent of 182 million Nigerians have formal health insurance.
This indicates that only 7.28 million Nigerians are registered under the National Health Insurance Scheme, leaving 174.92 million without health cover.
According to her, majority of the people with health insurance in the country are workers in the public sector.
She said this was part of the findings of the commission on health care investment while speaking at a summit in Abuja, which was held in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and GEMS3.
The summit was organised to explore ways to attract health care investments into the country.
The NIPC boss added that the research findings by the commission showed that Nigerians would rather seek medical care in India, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and South Africa than stay in Nigeria for treatment.
The country, she lamented, was losing $1bn annually to foreign medical trips.
She described the huge funds Nigerians spent abroad on health care as ‘invisible import’ because it was not captured in the country’s regular trade figures.
According to her, the lack of health care infrastructure has made the country the third preferred destination in Africa for health care investments.
The NIPC survey, Sadiku said, showed that “Nigeria spends just two per cent of its Gross Domestic Product on health care. However, it has the high-operating costs and the lowest quality scores for such investment compared to Egypt, Tunisia, South Africa and Kenya. Nigerians are ranked the ninth largest contributor by foreign patient volume in the United Kingdom.
The International Finance Corporation estimated that from $10bn to $15bn would be required as infrastructure investment in Nigeria’s health care sector.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Prioritising investment promotion in Nigeria’s health care sector’, the NIPC CEO expressed the commission’s commitment to supporting investors to put in funds in the health sector.
Sadiku urged participants to identify and proffer workable solutions to the issues within the health sector in order not to only attract new investors, but also encourage the growth of existing businesses, and reduce Nigeria’s health import dependency.
To attract investors, participants at the summit suggested that similar to the pension scheme, health care insurance should be made mandatory for Nigerians.
They also identified the overlapping role of the Nigerian Health Insurance Scheme as both regulator and provider as a bottleneck because “the institution is competing with private Health Maintenance Organisations and controlling money that will help them to grow”.
Stakeholders also identified barriers hindering investment in the health care sector, saying that “health care is a long-term investment, which bankers do not understand, and therefore are reluctant to support”.
The Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, recently said that there was no record of the real number of people covered by the scheme in Nigeria.
As such, he said the agency would embark on biometric verification of the actual enrolees in the scheme in order to correct the lapses that had been identified in the implementation of the NHIS.
He said that he had already set up an enforcement department to ensure that the scheme would work for the benefit of Nigerians.
Yusuf said that the NHIS was the only effective means to achieve universal health coverage in Nigeria, where the rich and the poor would get health care without suffering any financial burden.
Nigeria Appoints Four Global Banks To Oversee Eurobonds Issuance
Nigeria on Wednesday appointed four global lenders, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs as book-runners for its forthcoming Eurobond issue, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).
The debt office also appointed Chapel Hill Denham as Nigerian bookrunner and FSDH Merchant Bank as a financial adviser.
It said in a statement that the Transaction Advisers emerged from an Open Competitive Bidding Process as outlined in the Public Procurement Act, 2007 (as amended).
According to the debt office, 38 institutions jostled for the transaction advisers but chose to select eight after “rigorous evaluation to ascertain the technical capacities of the responders to execute the Transaction.”
The Eurobonds are aimed at raising the external borrowing portion of the N5.6 trillion deficits in the 2021 budget put at N2.34 trillion.
“Whilst the government expects a successful outing, it will be mindful of costs and risks in terms of tenor and pricing in determining the amount of Eurobonds to issue,” the DMO said.
The DMO said proceeds from the bond sale will be used to fund various projects in the budget with the resultant inflow of foreign exchange into the country which will boost Nigeria’s dollar reserves and support the naira.
Nigeria had planned a Eurobond issue early last year after its sixth sale in 2018 where it raised $2.86 billion. But it decided to defer the 2020 sale due to the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Assembly last month approved the external borrowing of about $6.2 billion through the issuance of a Eurobond.
The government has said it wanted to moderate debt servicing costs by accessing relatively cheaper funds abroad, as global interest rates fall below 2020 levels while local rates rise.
Nigeria emerged from its second recession since 2016 in the fourth quarter of last year, but growth is fragile.
The government expects a 2021 budget deficit of N5.6 trillion to be financed largely from foreign and local borrowings in equal proportion.
Nestle Nigeria Plc Appoints Two New Directors
Nestle Nigeria Plc has appointed Mrs Adebisi Lamikanra and Mr Ibukun-Okun Ipinmoye as non-executive director and executive director respectively.
According to a statement signed by the Company Secretary, Bode Ayeku, Lamikanra, whose appointment was approved by the board, has over 30 years of professional experience providing advisory and consulting services to various public and private sector entities within and outside Nigeria.
The statement said before her appointment, Lamikanra was the head of the advisory practice of KPMG Nigeria consisting of management consulting, deal advisory, technology advisory and risk consulting business units. She had also led the financial services sector across Africa.
Lamikanra has a degree in economics and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. She attended various leadership programs over the years at Instead, Lagos Business School, Harvard Business School, Kellogg and many others.
She is currently the co-chair of Women Corporate Directors in Nigeria and the thematic leader for the non-banking sector for the Nigerian Economic Summit Group. She is a promoter of an NGO which focuses on providing employability training to Nigerian graduates.
On his part, the statement said Ipinmoye was currently the factory manager at, Agbara factory. He is a certified professional coach and a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants.
He had joined Nestle Nigeria as a graduate trainee in 1993 and was appointed in 2016 to be the factory manager, Flowergate Factory, where he effectively built and sustained a high-performing culture at the factory.
He holds an M.Sc degree in biochemistry from the University of Ilorin and an M.Sc degree in management from Commonwealth Open University, United Kingdom.
FrieslandCampina Re-Launches Olympic, Coast Milk Brands
FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Nigeria’s foremost dairy company and makers of Peak and Three Crowns milk, has re-launched Olympic, Coast, and Nunu milk brands into the Nigerian market through the ‘Word twist’ campaign.
The new ‘Word twist’ campaign requires consumers to compose meaningful sentences with Coast, Olympic, and Nunu for a chance to win fantastic prizes.
For example, “You can now Coast to natural goodness like the fastest man alive cruises to Olympic medals with one Nunu milk a day in your meal.”
Omolara Banjoko, marketing manager, FrieslandCampina disclosed that the campaign became necessary following FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s acquisition of PZ Nutricima and its brands; Olympic, Coast, and Nunu.
“These brands have an existing portfolio across different formats with varied strengths in the different regions of the country. Hence, with this campaign, we plan to strengthen the perception of the brands leveraging FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s strong heritage” Banjoko said.
She further explained that FrieslandCampina is committed to bringing affordable and readily available quality dairy products to Nigerians and with the acquisition, it will be able to meet the growing demands of its consumers.
“Coast Milk promises natural goodness and therefore it is a perfect match that will work well with consumers who wish to stick to natural-made products.
“Adults have a myriad of responsibilities to attend to daily and with Olympic milk, they are assured of getting the right nutrients that will cater to their energy needs and active lifestyle,” she said.
“Nunu offers nutrient-rich milk that can conveniently be used by consumers and businesses looking to upgrade their everyday meal and intermediate products. Olympic, Nunu, and Coast milk are back like they never left and we encourage people to look out for the brands in their neighborhood” Banjoko added.
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