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General News of Thursday, 18 April 2019

Source: thechronicle.com.gh

NDC is being mischievous with NHIS figures – Gov’t

Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has accused the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) of being mischievous with the figures of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) membership.

The NDC held a news conference on Monday and alleged that Ghanaians had lost confidence in the NHIS, leading to most beneficiaries signing out.

But, addressing journalists in Accra to react to an earlier one by the opposition party, a Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide, indicated that “it is also palpable falsehood when the NDC alleged loss of confidence in the scheme. Contrary to their assertion, the facts are that NHIS membership registration has rather surged from 18.6 million in 2016 to 20.1 million in 2018.”

The Minister said the NDC relied on budget estimates to make its argument of increasing expenditure on compensation, describing it as misleading and in bad faith.

He further explained that as a growing institution, the NHIA takes cognisance of the creation of six new regions and the need to have offices in all 216 districts, as it only has 176, a move, he said, will account for the current budget estimates on compensation.

So, “to pick on this and allege wrong-doing on the part of the NHIA can only be an act of mischief on the part of the NDC,” he opined.

The deputy Minister further said the government could accept all constructive criticisms from industry players and other stakeholders, but not from the NDC, which, he said, could not manage the sector properly in its eight-year reign.

He reiterated that the Akufo-Addo-led administration inherited a GH¢1.2 billion debt left behind by the NDC. This debt has since been fully paid by the Nana Addo-led government.

“The NDC also clearly confuses [a] funding gap of GH¢425.7 million with total claims arrears of GH¢1.2 billion as at December 2016 when they were exiting office. For their education, [the] funding gap is the difference between the total liability and the money that is due the NHIS,” he observed.

He used the opportunity to also clarify matters relating to the supposed scandalous revelation on some investments with All Time Capital Limited, an investment into the private financial house by the NHIA, which started under the Mahama-led administration in 2012.

“In fact, the placement of the first 5 million Ghana cedis in a 365-day fixed deposit investment occurred on 26th July 2012.

“The NDC continued to roll over principal plus interest accrued, and even made further investment with same All Time Capital Limited.

“For the NDC to turn around and accuse the current administration that “the NHIS, without due diligence, and with indecent haste, transferred a whopping GH¢17,548,377.20 million in three tranches to a private financial house – All Time Capital Limited – supposedly as investment,” is incredibly mischievous and unbecoming of a political party seeking the mandate of the people. This further deepens the credibility crises that the NDC suffers,” he expatiated.

Meanwhile, the government, through the Deputy Information Minister, assured the people of Ghana that the NHIS is definitely not on the verge of collapse, as claimed by the NDC.

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