NHIA payment CSJ Bauchi CSO
Health Insurance Plan

NHIA: New Health Insurance Act Does Not Include Telecoms Tax


Contrary to the reports going around in the media, the management of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has stated that there is no provision for a telecom tax as a source of funding within the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act that was recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Some reports indicated that the new law contained a provision for a telecom tax of a minimum of one kobo per second for phone calls that will be used to boost the funds that are required to finance free healthcare for the vulnerable group in Nigeria as contained in the Act.

However, Mr. Emmanuel Ononokpono, the NHIS Deputy General Manager, dismissed the speculations in a statement as he expressed his appreciation to the President for signing the Bill into law. He stated that sections 25 and 26 of the Act established the Vulnerable Group Fund (VGF) and indicated where the various sources from which funding would be drawn. He also said that the legislation Buhari assented to did not make any provisions for a telecoms tax as a source of funding, contrary to reports in some national media.

Mr. Ononokpono urged for stakeholders and industry players, including the media to wait for a formal unveiling of the document.


Read Also: Call Tax: Federal Government Sets Up New Tax

Mr. Ononokpono also said that the legislation strengthened the NHIA to discharge a wide range of regulatory and promotion functions in order to ultimately ensure that every Nigerian received access to quality and affordable health care.

“For over two decades, industry professionals had sustained the call for amendment to the health insurance law, being a major impediment to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). By this development, efforts to tackle high incidence of poverty caused by out-of-pocket expenses for health care, through health insurance for all categories of Nigerians by 2030, is now more realisable than ever before.’’

Mr. Ononokpono stated that the management was also grateful to the Senate and the House of Representatives for their invaluable roles in the lead up to the enactment of the law. He acknowledged the roles played by different stakeholders in the course of the legislative work on the law.

In his words, the Act establishes and empowers the NHIA to ensure provision of health insurance for all Nigerians through a mandatory mechanism through a collaboration with the state health insurance agencies.