L-R: GM, External Relations, Igo Weli; Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole; Public Affairs Manager, NAPIMS, Ahmed Laminu; & former CEO/Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme, Dr. Femi Akingbade, at the just-concluded Health Concept Validation Exercise organised SNEPCo, in Lagos.

The session brought together a variety of international development agencies, academia and medical professionals who brainstormed along with officials of the Federal Ministry of Health and SNEPCo on the possible areas of support and collaboration. Unfolding the Federal Government’s vision for the health sector, Prof Adewole said the support of the private sector was key towards ensuring the delivery of affordable healthcare to the people.  He commended the Shell deep-water subsidiary for the first-of-its-kind concepts validation exercise. “The exercise has a good fit with public and private sector collaboration in the delivery of available and affordable healthcare,” he added.

In his remarks, General Manager, External Relations of Shell in Nigeria, Mr. Igo Weli, said the company was committed to effective healthcare and had continued to invest in the sector. “SNEPCo has already implemented health projects and programmes in some states, and we hope that this exercise will help highlight more areas of partnership,” said Mr. Weli who represented SNEPCo Managing Director, Mr. Bayo Ojulari.

Also speaking at the session, Public Affairs Manager, National Petroleum Investments Management Services, Mr. Ahmed Laminu, who represented the Group General Manager of NAPIMS, Mr. Dafe Sejebor, described the initiative as timely and purposeful. “This gathering is coming at a most auspicious time when government is calling on well-meaning organisations to assist in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal-3 which is good health and wellbeing.”

The Regional Community Health Manager of Shell, Dr Akin Fajola, cited SNEPCo’s achievements in health in parts of Nigeria, and pointed out that the envisaged areas of partnership would be in line with national goals and policies with sustainability in mind. Health Specialist of the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank, Dr Olumide Okunola, said that new ideas and concepts should be looked at for an economic investment purpose, saying government needs to “look at resources, processes and policies.”

The 32 participants then went into syndicate sessions on possible intervention options.

The concept validation session is the latest in the effort of SNEPCo to bring effective healthcare to different parts of Nigeria. In co-operation with NNPC and its co-venturers, SNEPCo strengthened emergency care, set up five Hemo-Dialysis machines and breast cancer mammography screening services at the Iyi-Enu Mission Hospital in Anambra State, developed the capacity of health workers in seven states in the South West and South South regions, and supported the HEWS Foundation for the repair of congenital cleft lip and palate. It also supported the Extended Hands Foundation for the repair of about 50 Vesico-Vaginal fistulas across the country. It has equipped the health centre at the SOS Village, Isolo, Lagos and supported a neonatal hearing screening programme at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital.