The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, Rivers State government and Grand Bonny Kingdom have established the governing board of the Bonny Community Health Insurance programme. The scheme is set up to ease financing and access to quality health care on the island town.
The inauguration, which took place at the Rivers State secretariat, Port Harcourt, came after the signing of the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) involving the Bonny Kingdom, Rivers government and NLNG in February this year.
The event was graced by Chief Haniel Jack Wilson Pepple, the representative of the Amanyanabo of Grand Bonny Kingdom, His Majesty, King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple III, Perekule XI; the Permanent Secretary, Rivers Ministry of Health, Mrs. Caroline Wali; members of the Bonny Chiefs’ Council; other top officials of the Rivers Ministry of Health and NLNG.
The NLNG’s General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Eyono Fatayi-Williams, in her remarks, stated that the health insurance programme was part of the company’s efforts to promote good health among people who had been good hosts and who had maintained a peaceful co-existence with the company since the commencement of its operation in 1999.
She noted that the tripartite MoU defined the components of the scheme and secured government’s endorsement and support for the programme. Fatayi-Williams said: “The MoU has provided the basis for the inauguration of the governing board for which we are gathered here. The board is expected to oversee the smooth operation of the scheme, in line with the provisions of the MOU.
“It is important to state that the Bonny Community Health Insurance programme aligns with the Bonny-Dubai vision, as well as the United Nation’s vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by the year 2030.”
NLNG’s general manager, external relations and sustainable development also stated that the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, like scholarships, youth empowerment schemes, local capacity development, provision of basic infrastructure and amenities, have had direct impact on lives in Rivers state and the nation at large.
Fatayi-Williams expressed gratitude to the Rivers government for approving the use of the government-owned Bonny zonal hospital, Bonny comprehensive health centre and the Finima health centre for the scheme.
The Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Health, while announcing Chief John Jumbo as the Chairman of the Governing Board, pleaded for teamwork between the community and other stakeholders to make the scheme successful and for the good of the people in Bonny.
Mrs. Wali stated that the replication of the scheme by other corporate citizens across the state depended on the success of the scheme in Bonny.
According to the MoU, the community-based health insurance scheme is a not-for-profit insurance initiative, aimed primarily at the informal sector, and formed on the basis of collective pooling of health risks, in which members participate in its management.