Cabinet approves scrapping NHIF, to be replaced by three new Funds

NHIF Building

The NHIF building in Nairobi.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

The cabinet has repealed the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and replaced it with three separate funds that is the Primary Healthcare Fund, Social Health Insurance Fund and the Emergency, Chronic and Critical Illness Fund in its bid to accelerate universal health coverage.

State House spokesperson Hussein Mohamed explained that the three funds result from the reorganisation of the Sh550 billion that constitutes the total health expenditure.

He however noted that the Primary Care Fund will be funded by the exchequer.

At the same time, the cabinet resolved to set maize prices to cushion the farmers from South Rift, Nyanza, Central, Eastern, and Coast Regions farmers from suffering losses from the expected bumper harvest in their regions.

A dispatch from the inaugural cabinet meeting outside Nairobi at the Kakamega State Lodge says an agreement has been made to set a fair price for the produce.

Additionally, the government will cushion farmers from post-harvest losses by providing them with mobile driers as it works on ensuring that quality and affordable inputs are available to farmers to sustain ample food production going forward.

Additionally, the government will purchase at least one million bags of maize to be maintained as part of the nation’s Strategic Food Reserve.

The off-take price for the year 2023 crop will be announced in due course by the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Development, in consultation with all stakeholders as outlined in the regulations.

The meeting chaired by President William Ruto also directed the Ministry of Agriculture to find ways to ensure proper storage of maize for strategic reserves.

Despite the rosy outlook in maize farming, it was noted that the sugar industry is still facing serious challenges due to lack of enough cane.

To address this the cabinet was informed of a planned overhaul of the factories, modernisation of equipment, among other measures that will revive the ailing sector.

The Cabinet further approved the upgrading of thirteen (13) Technical and Vocational Colleges to National Polytechnic status. These are Maasai Technical Training Institute, Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology, Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology, Coast Institute of Technology, Tseikuru Technical & Training College, Sang’alo Institute of Science & Technology, Bureti Technical Vocational College, Jeremiah Nyagah Technical Training Institute, Mawego Technical Training Institute, and Baringo Technical Training Institute.

It also waived the requirement for national identity cards for students who have not attained the age of 18, and further directed the Ministry of Education, jointly with all stakeholders, to fast-track access to scholarships for all eligible students.

It further revealed that more than 20 Heads of State will be attending the forthcoming Africa Climate Summit 2023 alongside about 30,000 delegates. The Summit will be held in Nairobi next week to explore climate change adaptation, resilience and solution strategies for Africa and the world.

On security, the cabinet observed that remarkable progress was being achieved as a result of the ongoing Operation Maliza Uhalifu in North Rift counties which has resulted in the silencing of guns in recent weeks but adopted more measures to deal with terrorism.

“The development marks a critical milestone in the quest to secure enduring peace, end cattle rustling and create lasting security within Baringo, Laikipia, Samburu, Turkana, West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties.”

The cabinet said 94 per cent of government services have been boarded to the e-citizen portal in the ongoing digitization of government services seeking to enhance service delivery and check inefficiencies.

Further, it was revealed that revenue collections have improved, especially after the rollout of the 222222 single digital payment.

The cabinet said it regrets the total electrical grid outage that led to a nationwide blackout last Friday and Saturday. Cabinet consequently directed the review of the power distribution system in the country, to ensure that such an incident does not recur.