By Sola Ogundipe
The newly appointed Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Prof Mohammed Nasir Sambo, has pledged to be systematic and purposeful in building bridges to reposition the agency to take its rightful place in the nation’s healthcare landscape.
Sambo made the pledge during his maiden interactive session with staff of the Scheme in Abuja. The Professor of Health Policy and Management, with bias for Healthcare Financing, noted the core mandate of NHIS, as to provide easy access to healthcare for all Nigerians, and assured the nation that under his watch national interest will rank above every consideration at all times.
Stakeholders of the Scheme, who he described as interdependent, will be inspired to close ranks.
Sambo who unveiled his 3-point rebranding agenda said it included restoring value system that will transform NHIS into a credible result-driven organisation, engendering transparency and accountability in the entire operation of the Scheme, and accelerating the drive towards achieving access to quality healthcare for all Nigerians.
Sambo further assured that “the detail elements of the rebranding agenda will soon be unveiled after undertaking rapid assessment of the situation in the Scheme. Thereafter, a series of activities to actualize this vision will follow”.
He lamented the crisis that had beset the Scheme, impairing its capacity to deliver creditably on its core mandate, which he traced to the inception of the Scheme.
“I know very well that the problems of NHIS are as old as NHIS itself. I am familiar with the terrain. I was part and parcel of its construction. I know the bends and the pot holes. I know all the essential landmarks and I am determined to navigate through”.
The Public Health technocrat, however, called on everyone in the organisation to “sheath his/her sword and observe perpetual seize-fire for the benefit of the teeming Nigerian who are looking up to the Scheme for healthy and economically productive lives”.
A Fellow of the West African College of Physicians, Sambo was until his appointment Provost, College of Medicine, Kaduna State University, and Assistant General Manager, NHIS.