The House of Representatives has called on President Bola Tinubu to allocate some of the savings from the removal of fuel subsidies to enrol more Nigerians in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). The House made this resolution following a motion by Bashiru Dawodu, a member representing the Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency of Lagos State.
Dawodu, who moved the motion on Tuesday, said that the NHIS, which was established in 2022 to provide universal health coverage for Nigerians, had only enrolled about 5 million people out of the estimated 200 million population. He said that this left millions of Nigerians vulnerable to health risks and high out-of-pocket expenditures on health care.
He said that the Federal Government could use part of the savings from the removal of fuel subsidies, which amounted to N4 trillion in 2022 and N3.6 trillion in the first six months of 2023, to enrol more Nigerians in the NHIS. He said that it would cost about N5 billion to cover 5 million people annually at the rate of N15,000 per person.
He urged President Tinubu, who announced the removal of fuel subsidies on May 29, 2023, to fulfil his promise of investing the savings in health care, education, infrastructure, and other sectors. He also urged the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of the scheme.
The motion was adopted by the House without debate and referred to the Committees on Health Institutions and Finance for further legislative action.