The new Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Muhammed Sambo, officially took over the affairs of the scheme on Monday with a three point agenda packaged to run the scheme smoothly.
During the handing over ceremony in NHIS head office, Prof Sambo said the three point agenda has been packaged as follows; restoring a value system that will transform the scheme into a credible result-driven scheme, engender transparency and accountability in the entire operations of the scheme and accelerating the drive towards achieving universal access to quality health care for all Nigerians.
He said, the detail of these re-branding agenda will soon be unveiled after undertaking an assessment of the situation. Thereafter, series of activities to actualize the set agenda would follow.
“As we set out to commence this journey towards liberating this organisation, it is interesting to state that it is my fact understanding that none of you present is an architect of the problems of NHIS, the problem here is as old as the scheme itself. Some of you may not know but I know.”
The ES promised to do everything within his power in working with all the staff to get to the root of the problem and find a lasting solution to it adding that he is not going to do it alone but ready to work with anybody who is ready to work.
“We must put national interest above personal interest in this assignment because we must remember that when we accept to work in this scheme, we are very conscious of the fact that this place in not a war front and not a battle field. Therefore, who ever think it is a battle field, I am waiting for his resignation today.”
Pref Sambo who said his appointment as the ES is simply an act of providence also said that he is in the scheme to relate and not to appreciate division, to build bridge and not to destroy, to work and not to talk, and to contribute his own quota towards national development.
“I am not unaware of the diversity and complexity of both internal and external environment of NHIS but I know NHIS is a system comprises of many stakeholders which are interdependence. The success of each stakeholder depends largely on the success of others; therefore, I will make sure I carry everybody along in process decision making that will help NHIS.”
He also made a personal appeal to all staff to sheath their swords for the benefits of Nigerians who are looking up to the scheme for happy and economically productive lives.
“As a newly appointed driver of the scheme, I have set out to take the scheme to the promise land of achieving universal coverage for all Nigerians, I am familiar with the terrain, I am part and parcel of the construction, I know the bend and the potholes and I am determine to move with all of you for greater achievement of the scheme.”
Prof Sambo was one of the pioneer staff of NHIS when he joined the service in 13th May, 1999 with a staff file number 0122 but voluntarily transferred his service to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria 15 years ago in pursuit of academic careerr. He was the first coordinator, NHIS, Lagos where 40 per cent of NHIS activities reside.