Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that without a compulsory health insurance scheme, the Buhari regime will not be able to pool the resources required to provide decent healthcare for 200 million Nigerians, growing by five million every year.
Osinbajo stated this on Tuesday while rounding off his thoughts during an interaction at the closing of the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja themed: Securing Our Future, the Fierce Urgency of Now.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement titled ‘Optimistic about country’s future, Osinbajo says young Nigerians will unleash their resourcefulness on the world’.
He was quoted to have said, “Social amenities are crucial, not just for attracting investment, but even for the standard of living of people who live there.
“Without compulsory health insurance, we simply cannot bring together the resources that are required to provide decent healthcare for 200 million people, growing by five million every year. I think the game-changer is health insurance.”
The Vice President added, “We are at a point now with the healthcare reform committee, which I have the privilege of chairing, where we are looking at all these options. We are trying to see in what ways we can ensure that this will work.
“So, there are huge revolutionary changes that need to be made and I believe that they are entirely possible. And we are at a point where these things are accessible to us, with time, we can do these things. I am certainly looking forward to some of the reforms that is possible.”
Commending on the successes so far recorded in public health in the country, Osinbajo said, “We have been able to set a standard for public health and that was seen in our COVID-19 response.
“Our response to the pandemic, a major public health challenge, was probably one of the best anywhere in the world.”
The Vice President said with the energy of the youth, the resilience of the private sector combined with governments implementing the right policies, Nigeria would make the desired progress despite the challenges in the economy.
Osinbajo explained that despite the limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic among other challenges, the government was working hard to address defects in the system, noting that recent results were indicative of recovery across different sectors of the economy.
While urging state governments to do more, especially in the area of education, the Vice President stated, “We must emphasise science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. This is an area where a curriculum is being redeveloped to accommodate that.
“It is important to note that basic education – primary and secondary education – are under the control of the states. The Federal Government does not handle primary or secondary education. Yes, we do have some unity schools, but these things are really the business of the states.”
The Vice President also restated the commitment of the Buhari regime to ensuring inclusive growth through education leveraging technology, noting that the overriding theme for government was value addition.
Also at the event was a Director of the NESG Kyari Bukar and Country Director of the Ford Foundation in Nigeria, Chichi Aniagolu-Okoye.