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Relief as 400 retirees receive FCTA health insurance
• Major load off their backs

17th Feb, 2020 | By Olalekan Jimoh, Faustina Inalegwu and Ogechi Afusi  | ||

A bright future beckons for over 400 retirees from the services of Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) as they completed the enrolment process into FCTA Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS). Experts explained to Abuja Digest Weekly that the immediate implication of this is that there is now massive hope for a healthier future for the aged as well as prospects of extending their life-spans with the burden of medicare being taken off their frail shoulders at a time in life when they practically have no strength for hectic work.

Director, FHIS, Dr. Ahmed Danfulani, who broke news of the enrolment exclusively to Abuja Digest Weekly, disclosed further that the retirees have filled the required forms and obtained approval from the agency. Dr. Danfulani added: ''So what is left for the retirees is the deduction from the pension board (which processes their pensions) and we have given them our word that with or without that, all the retirees that have enrolled will start enjoying the services by March 2020.

''We are going to issue them with cards and they will start enjoying the services; that is even with or without the statutory contributions from them." The Director also told Abuja Digest Weekly that FHIS has registered more than 7000 Area Councils' staff and their dependants ''and we are just waiting to formalize deductions from their salaries after which they will start enjoying the services.'' According to him, FHIS has been doing a lot of sensitization across the six Area Councils of FCT, pointing out that just last week Gwagwalada Area Council officials informed the agency of their intention to have their staff also benefit from the scheme beginning next month.

Asked when the scheme will bring in the informal sector, the FHIS boss explained that ''some of our Area Council offices are coming up and one of our mandates is to sensitize the community around them. Apart from this, we have also mapped out strategies to go to different places like markets, schools and communities that we can bring on board into our informal sector circle.'' He stated that intensified efforts are on to net other strands of the informal sector, particularly during stakeholders' meeting of the agency which comes up soon.

Also asked on latest developments on the proposed FHIS call centre, which is billed to make for more frequent, real-time interface between the agency and beneficiaries of the scheme's services, Dr. Danfulani said: "It is in the final process of being opened. The thing that was delaying us was the conveyance of our equipment to the Area 8 office from the main office. That has been completed and the final thing is the hosting of our server on the Galaxy Backbone network. Once that is completed, then we will open the Area 8 office.

''We will certainly not do that until we are fully on ground. So, by the grace of God, next month Area 8 call centre will be declared open and this will give more robust and easier access of enrollees to our services. Healthcare provision fund is already ongoing. We are going to expand on that service too as soon as we clear all the necessary issues surrounding it." On concerns over the legal status of FHIS, he was optimistic that the National Assembly will soon pass a bill before it to give legal teeth to the agency with the document having gone far in the legislative processes. ''We hope that by the end of this month, we should be through with that from the National Assembly," he stated.

News Update

The lingering land dispute between the Nigerian Army and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) original inhabitants will be resolved amicably by the highest authorities, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has assured.

Apparently moved by the spirit of being one's brother's keeper, the body said it took the action ''to support the needy and the poor following the FG's lockdown order'' which has kept FCT residents indoors till 14 April, 2020.

The Minister visited the Idu train facility training center which is being outfitted to accommodate 300 beds to be used as an isolation and treatment center, the Asokoro Hospital, the Karu General Hospital and the road leading to the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa, Abuja.

Sequel to the new guidelines on operations of markets issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has directed the Abuja Markets Management Limited (AMML) to ensure compliance with the new template.


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