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40,000 Beneficiaries To Access Free Healthcare In Kaduna

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40,000 Beneficiaries To Access Free Healthcare In Kaduna
Kaduna Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe

The Kaduna State Government says it has targeted 40,000 beneficiaries to access free healthcare services from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS ) at no cost.

The state Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, said this at the flag-off ceremony on Monday in Kaduna on the identification and enrolment exercise for beneficiaries under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

Balarabe said the programme is an important milestone in the history of the state as the first set of 40,000 beneficiaries within the target groups would be identified and enrolled to benefit from this very important free programme.

Read Also: Lagos Govt. Partners FirstBank To Promote Access To Affordable Healthcare

The target groups include children under 5 years of age, pregnant women, the elderly and people living with disabilities.

“This is one important programme that aims to increase access to Basic Minimum Health Care Services for all Nigerians towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” Balarabe said.

She said the state government has shown great commitment to this course by the establishment of the Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA).

The deputy governor noted that from its establishment to date, the authority has recorded remarkable achievements.

According to her, the enrolment of about 40,000 beneficiaries into the State Contributory Health Scheme registered and empanelled 12,000 vulnerable persons to the accredited primary healthcare facilities.

Read Also: Financing the Health Sector in Nigeria through Private Sector Participation

She said the scheme has “accredited about 300 healthcare facilities at both Primary and Secondary levels of care.

“While About 120 enrollees have so far accessed care under the scheme.”

She added that the state government has also earmarked one per cent of its Consolidated Revenue Funds (CRF) to the authority for the provision of free healthcare services to the vulnerable population in the state.

“This is in addition to the revitalisation of 255 Primary Health Centres that would serve as facilities for both Kaduna State Contributory Health Scheme and BHCPF programme.

“The two Programmes – BHCPF and the Contributory Health Scheme, although complementary, are mutually exclusive.

“They will complement one another to provide access to health for the people of Kaduna state.”

Read Also: Jigawa Releases N49bn To 11,276 Retirees In 5 Years

She enjoined residents to ensure that as the authority enrols eligible beneficiaries into the BHCPF, their families are enrolled in the Contributory Health Scheme.

Balarabe appreciated the Federal Ministry of Health, National Identity Management Commission and other implementing agencies at both federal and state levels for this commitment, particularly the  NHIS for providing all the necessary support and coordination towards the successful implementation of the programme.

The deputy governor e pressed optimism on the success of the scheme.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Amina Mohammed-Baloni, said the state, being one of the beneficiaries of the fund, qualified after meeting federal government criteria.

The criteria included the establishment of a contributory health scheme to provide access to basic quality health and affordable healthcare for financial risk to all residents and a contribution of a N100 million equity fund.

Read Also: #Endsars: World Bank Supports Cross River Govt With Equipment

She said that the state government had earmarked one per cent of it consolidated revenue to carter for the treatment of the vulnerable population, including children under five years and pregnant women, the aged and people living with disabilities.

“Basic health care provision funding to be implemented through two pathways; the National Primary Health Care Agency (NPHCDA) and the NHIS, and sister agencies in the state.

“NPHCDA gateway is for providing service while the NHIS gateway will pay for this service, and the state steering committee in the state, the state primary health care board and state contributory health authority have has been working very hard for us to get to this August occasion,” she said.

Mohammed-Baloni said the state has conducted a quick assessment of 250 facilities at ward levels to ascertain the level of readiness of facilities to provide services as well as quality improvement plan for each of the centres.

She disclosed that the state also received its fund from both the NPHCDA and NHIS gateways in excess of N1 billion for the roll-out of the programme.

According to her, out of the amount disbursed to the SPHCDB, 239 PHCs have already received N600,000 each to begin quality improvement and procurement of drugs and other commodities.

“They have all developed business plans and quality improvement plans to guide expenditure as well as ensure top quality provision of service.

“The ministry will closely monitor judicious utilisation of fund to ensure that the targeted groups benefit from the programme.

“Efforts will be intensified to make sure that Kaduna state health supply management agency always provide quality drugs and consumables to all accredited centres.”

On his part, the Director-General of the State Contributory Health Management Authority, Mr Aliyu Saidu, said the support from the state government has made them record one of the highest enrolment across the 36 states.

He said the health scheme has met all the criteria and have been working tirelessly to see all residents have access to facilities without financial constraints.

According to him, with the 60,000 targets, it will put them on top of all states to enable them to get more funding.

“With this target, we are more likely to get more funds of N1 billion unlike last year where we got N50 million,” said Sa’idu.

State News

FCTA Disburses N3.8bn To 6 Area Councils, Others – Minister

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FCTA Disburses N3.8bn To 6 Area Councils, Others - Minister
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu

The Federal Capital Territory Administration  (FCTA) had disbursed a total sum of N3,825,254,760.45 billion to the six Area Councils and other stakeholders, as their share of statutory allocation for January 2021.

The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, who presided over the 150th Joint Area Councils Allocation Committee (JAAC) meeting, made the disclosure in a briefing to newsmen, on Thursday, in Abuja.

Aliyu said that in spite of the numerous challenges faced by the FCTA, it had recorded some growth in the allocations to the area councils.

Read Also: FCTA Disburses N2.495bn To Area Councils, Urges Transparency

According to her, the sum of N2,184,299,894.92 billion was distributed to the six area councils, while the sum of N1,640,954,865.53 billion was made available to other stakeholders, bringing the total sum to N3,825,254,760.45 billion.

The minister said that Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), received N406,026,452.03 million, Gwagwalada got N404,788,308.23 million, while Kuje received N336,657,589.34 million.

Bwari area council received N336,576,495.80 million, Abaji got N359,109,676.09 million, and Kwali area council received N341,141,373.43 million, respectively, she added.

”Furthermore, distribution to other stakeholders included: Primary Teachers which gulped N1,268, 373, 922.70 billion, 15 percent Pension Funds took N226, 478, 989.57 million, One percent Training Fund gulped N38,252,547.63 million.

”The 10 percent Employer Pension Contribution gulped N107, 849, 405.63 million,” she said.

The minister, therefore, thanked all members of the Joint Area Allocation Committee (JAAC) for their contributions to the success recorded in the month of January 2021

The minister also announced that henceforth the meeting would not only serve as an avenue for disbursement of funds to councils but also as a platform to address challenges facing the area councils.

Aliyu tasked the area council’s Staff Pension Board to ensure regular payment of pensioners, saying: “retirement should not be a burden for our senior citizens.”

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Business

Lagos, NPA, Begin New Electronic Call-Up System Strategy For Trucks

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Lagos, NPA, Begin New Electronic Call-Up System Strategy For Trucks

The Lagos State Government (LASG), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), and other stakeholders have agreed to adopt a new electronic call-up system for trucks scheduled to commence on Feb. 27.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation and Chairman, Special Traffic Management Enforcement Team, Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the electronic call-up system would be based on a first-come-first-served basis.

Read Also: LASG, NPA Teams Identify Holding Bays To Ease Apapa Gridlock

Fayinka said that the resolution was agreed upon on Thursday after thorough consideration of all parties involved to effectively eliminate the traffic congestion experienced in the state through ports activities.

“At the meeting which held at Lilypond Terminal, the parties which include: NPA, LASG, Nigeria Police Force, and Truck Transit Park agreed that the new e- call-up system will commence on Feb. 27.

”As the existing call up for trucks will be discontinued from Friday, Feb. 26, due to its inefficiency to manage truckers operations in and out of the ports,” Fayinka said.

He added that it was jointly agreed upon that all articulated vehicles would be prevented from entering Apapa and its environs by 4 pm on Feb. 26.

“Subsequently, by 12.00 noon on Feb. 27, trucks in and around the ports access roads are all expected to have vacated the corridors,” Fayinka said.

He warned truck owners and drivers to adhere to the resolutions to prevent harsh reactions from the government.

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State News

Asaba Airport Concession To Fetch N80bn, Says Official

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Asaba Airport Concession To Fetch N80bn, Says Official
Asaba Airport

Delta Government says the Asaba Airport Concession will fetch more than N80 billion revenue at the end of the 30-year period.

Prof. Sylvester Monye, the Senior Policy Adviser to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, said this while briefing newsmen on decisions reached at the State Executive Council meeting in Asaba on Thursday.

He explained that contrary to opinions, the whole process that led to the concession of the airport was open and transparent and took almost five years to actualize.

Read Also: Delta Govt: No Plan To Ban Okada, Keke Napep

He said that there was no state in Nigeria that had the capacity to manage the airport, saying that the state government had instead sought the help of the Federal Government.

According to him,  the consortium Asaba Airport Company Limited is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which represents a bigger umbrella that houses many business entities that also won their bids to perform specific transactions to work together for the realization of a common goal.

“So, this consortium was registered as a legal entity in Nigeria on Oct. 13, 2020, as an SPV to enable the state government to monitor the concessionaire to meet the requirements for the transaction.

“Let me take you through the process that we are very proud of.

“Before we started with the issue of concession, as a state we did not have the expertise, so we engaged the services of transaction advisers,’’ Monye said.

He added that the state government advertised for the financial adviser, saying that this was done in a transparent manner, and the government finally engaged an adviser of international repute.

“There was an inception report. That is the feasibility study of the project; the status of Asaba Airport to date.

“Nobody will invest into a business if it is not viable and we did not just arrive at 30 years.

“It was based on detailed financial analysis of investment returns. So every stage of the transaction was done in a transparent way.

“We had several meetings with various interest groups. We published, we had roadshows and we went to China to talk to the Chinese.

“So, we advertised in three national newspapers where we invited the bidders to an open bid process and the whole process took close to five years,’’ he said.

According to Monye, the concessionaire will pay N1 billion to the state government in 15 days’ time.

“Again in this transaction, they will pay annual royalty of 2.5 percent of their turnover, which according to the feasibility study will amount to about N43.4 billion,” Monye said.

He said, “In addition, they will give us investment in assets; hotel, cargo terminal, among others, the upgrade of the airport to the tune of N28 billion and in addition pay the state N100 million yearly with 10 percent escalation.

“So, on the whole, we expect to get about N80 billion in terms of revenue over the period of concession.

“Currently, what we are getting from the airport as revenue is less than 25 percent of the cost of running the airport,’’ he said.

“Currently, Delta state is owing National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) N70 million and Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMe)t about N70 million as well.

“We are owing Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) about N67 million but today all these costs and liabilities will be wiped by the concessionaire.’’

Monye said that in the end, the state would build a giant airport city because in the end, everything that would be invested would be handed over to the state.

On his part, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, said all who won their bids separately were required by the state government to function under a single umbrella, Asaba Airport Company Ltd.

“We did not sell our airport; we want to take it beyond flying and flying out but make it an economic hub.

“Because the various business entities are now to operate under the same umbrella, the concessionaire’s document was signed by certain persons on behalf of the consortium,’’ Aniagwu said.

He noted that the council had directed heads of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to strictly enforce the Coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols.

He said that the council also approved for construction, rehabilitation, and asphalt overlay of four roads in Warri and Asaba.

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