There are many voices today in Nigeria... a consequence of the subsidy removal. Some criticize, some blame, some protest, some destroy... and some others stay out of the streets.
However, some people quietly make impact in ways that promote well being even in the midst of huge national and household challenges.
Enugu state has responded by starting with two very great programmes which are cost saving, long term interventions that potentially have positive and wide impacts on the society.
- Free transportation for primary school children in the State owned red buses which were largely bought from a Local Manufacturer based in Enugu (Innoson Motors)
- Commencement of Health insurance for the state civil servants... we understand that funds for the first quarter of the year have been released.
These two programmes can impact positively on employment, provide support for local industry, save money for households, and also lead to overall improvement in health status of the state's citizens.
While it is understood that majority in the state are not civil servants, we think that the step taken so far is a step in the right direction (one hurdle crossed) that deserves emulation by other states. We also know that the Enugu state government has been working with other organizations to promote health insurance for the informal sector and rural dwellers while it retains its free maternal and child health programme in the interim.
One thing the government should not forget is that it needs to develop clear operational guidelines to guide there relationship with all the actors in the health insurance effort, including explicit monitoring and arbitration systems. Kudos Governor Chime and Team.