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Nigerian Labour Congress faults Kano state Government contributory health insurance scheme

By Abubakar Haruna Galadanchi, The Nigerian Voice, Kano
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Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is kicking against the Kano State contributory health insurance scheme, a universal coverage for all public workers in the state.

Besides, the workers’ union also called for immediate exemption of judiciary staff and primary school teachers from the initial stage of the scheme pending when the state government settles outstanding issues including over eight months’ salary arrears, non-promotion, annual increment and judges allowances.

Similarly, the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council JNPSNC berated the composition of the representatives of the board of the proposed scheme, insisting that it lacks inclusiveness and spirit of fairness.

NLC State Chairman, Kabiru Ado Mingibir, who made the resolution of labour available to newsmen before a public hearing organized by Kano State House of Assembly committee on health on the proposed bill demanded liberty for workers to choose to participate at will.

The labour movement is agitating a 50 percent downward review of intended deductions from workers’ salaries into the basket of the health insurance scheme

Minjibir who stressed the viability of the scheme to meeting the healthcare need of the public however clamour for full implementation of the health insurance scheme for at least six months without initial contribution.

According to the chairman if the Federal Government should start this similar programme with all the attendant packages free of charge for its staff, the state government should equally do the same at least, for six months in order to serve as a motivation for the workers and at the same time provide them with ample opportunity to appreciate the benefit of the scheme.

Secretary of the JNPSNC, Musa Ibrahim Ahmadu, while submitting the union’s petition before the public hearing requested adequate representation of the union in the governing board of the proposed scheme.

Ahmadu demanded the removal of representation of Nigeria Medical Association on the board membership since it does not capture in the final draft of the committee report.

Underlying the significance of the scheme if finally passed into law, Commissioner for Health Dr. Kabiru Ado Minjibir said that workers would no longer cry for lack of money when attending to their health.

He emphasized that healthcare insurance scheme is universal practice that guarantees equal access of citizenry to healthcare system regardless of status and basic income.

Kano State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency bill 2016 suffered several legislative deliberations in the last seven months since it was forwarded by the executive due to some gray areas.