The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has marked its 20th anniversary in Abuja. At the event, the scheme unveiled the profile of the newly appointed Executive Secretary. He is Prof. Mohammed Nasir Sambo.
The NHIS was established by Decree No. 35 of 1999.
Mr. Ayo Osinlu, Head Media and Public Relations of the agency, applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment.
Osinlu said President Buhari presented the agency with a new lease of life, an opportunity for self-reinvention and acceleration. This is especially as Nigeria observes the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the NHIS. He acknowledged that Buhari appointed the most appropriate helmsman for the agency.
Until his appointment, Sambo was the Provost, College of Medicine, Kaduna State University.
He disclosed that Sambo had a huge academic and operational interest in Health Care Financing. This made him a perfect fit for his new role as the nation’s number one healthcare financing sheriff.
“As an academic and a technocrat, Prof. Sambo is well seasoned and thoroughbred. Reason for the tangible excitement in the industry at his arrival especially at this critical moment in the chequered history of NHIS.
“A season when the agency has an urgent need of the right calibre of leadership to redefine and reassert itself.”
Prof Sambo graduated with an MBBS from the University of Jos in 1993. Further, he holds a distinguished Fellowship of the West African College of Physicians in 2003. He was the Best Candidate in the Final Fellowship examination.
“In the academic wing of his illustrious public service career, Prof. Sambo had acquitted himself the positions of Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medicine, and Head, Department of Community Medicine, both at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,’’ he said.
Sambo rose through ranks at NHIS
Osinlu said Prof. Sambo was prominent when the building blocks of NHIS were being moulded. Sambo served in the scheme previously as Assistant Director/Zonal Coordinator in the South West Zone.
He added that Sambo was also the Assistant General Manager and Head of HMO Division at the NHIS Headquarters, in Abuja.
Further, Sambo embraced the sister-agency on the supply side of Healthcare delivery. Specifically, this is through the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA). He was Assistant Director and Zonal Coordinator, North West Zone of the agency.
According to him,“Prof. Sambo’s skills for health policy development found ample expression during the tenure of Professor Eyitayo Lambo, as Honourable Minister of Health, during which the Executive Secretary served as a Member of the Ministerial Technical Working Group.
“That developed the National Healthcare Financing Policy, a framework that largely facilitated the formal flag off of NHIS in June 2005 by President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“He was also a member of the Ministerial Technical Working Groups for the Public Private Partnership Policy on Health, the National Health Strategic Development Plan, and the all-important National Health Policy,’’ Osinlu said.
He said Sambo’s scholarly distinction attracted national and international institutions, which engaged him as Consultant or Resource Person for strategic activities, such as the Health Sector Reform Agenda of the Federal Ministry of Health.
Others include Blueprint for Accelerating Primary Health Centre Implementation in Nigeria, National Strategic Framework Development Committee of NACA and the National Health Council of Nigeria.
Osinlu also mentioned that Sambo was an Examiner, former Head of Quality Assurance, Faculty of Community Health and member of the Accreditation Team of the West African College of Physicians.
NHIS looks ahead to scaling more heights @ 20
Further, Sambo holds the impressive distinction of being a Visiting Scholar at a prestigious foreign institution. The Professor of Health Policy and Management is a visitor at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom.
“Under the wings of his academic mentorship, the Executive Secretary of NHIS has nurtured into full bloom several candidates for Fellowships, Post Graduate qualifications in Public Health and Field Epidemiology and Ph.D.
“A proud recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Award at ABU, Zaria. He holds a Masters degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy.
“Prof. Sambo, an authentic and remarkable scholar has his indelible footprint on the sands of time, through the publication of over 70 of his scholarly articles in reputable Peer Review Journals, nationally and internationally.”
He is happily married and blessed with children.