The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, Limited, NLNG, Rivers State Government and Grand Bonny Kingdom yesterday inaugurated the Governing Board of the Bonny Community Health Insurance Programme, kicking off a scheme to ease financing and access to quality health care in Bonny Kingdom.
The inauguration, which took place at the Rivers State Government Secretariat, is coming after the signing of a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) involving the Bonny Kingdom, Rivers State Government and NLNG in February 2019. The event was graced by Chief Haniel Jack Wilson Pepple, representative of the Amanyanabo of Bonny Kingdom, His Majesty, King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple III, Perekule XI; the Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Health, Mrs Caroline Wali; members of the Bonny Chiefs’ Council; and officials of the Rivers State Ministry of Health and NLNG.
In her remarks, NLNG’s General Manager for External Relations and Sustainable Development, Eyono Fatayi-Williams, said the Health Insurance Programme was part of the company’s efforts to promote good health among people who have been good hosts and who have maintained a peaceful co-existence with the company since the commencement of its operation in 1999.
She remarked that the tripartite MoU signed in February 2019 defined the components of the scheme and secured government’s endorsement and support for the programme.
“The MOU has provided the basis for the inauguration of the Governing Board for which we are gathered here today. 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,” she said.
Fatayi-Williams said NLNG’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, like scholarships, youth empowerment schemes, local capacity development initiatives, and provision of basic infrastructure and amenities, have had direct impact on lives in Rivers State and the nation at large.
She expressed gratitude to the Rivers State 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, Mrs Wali, while announcing Chief John Jumbo as the Chairman of the Governing Board, appealed for teamwork between the community and other stakeholders to make the scheme successful and for the good of the people in Bonny. She stated that the replication of this 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 (CBHI) is a “not-for-profit” insurance scheme aimed primarily at the informal sector, and formed on the basis of collective pooling of health risks, in which members participate in its management”.
NLNG is owned by four shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC (49%), Shell Gas B.V. (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International N.A. N. V. S.àr. l (10.4%).