The first edition of the Nigerian Entertainment Industry Health Insurance Convention held to a thunderous applause on Tuesday July 22, 2014 at the Grand Ball Room of Eko Hotel & Suites in Lagos. It was indeed a child of necessity as top dignitaries from different walks of life graced the event and made indelible contributions to the commencement of the Nigerian Entertainment Industry Health Insurance Scheme.
The keynote address, ‘The Health Implications of Celebrity Lifestyle’ was presented by the Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii who gave a good account of himself as a well experienced medical doctor. His key note address explored sensitive issues and its attendant dangers ranging from the choice of foods, drinks and creams adopted by many celebrities all in an attempt to stay trendy.
Shortly after that, the first session of the convention titled ‘The Benefits of Health Insurance’ commenced with the Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr Femi Thomas as the main speaker. The panelists of the session were Dr Tosin Awosika (MD Healthcare International), Ms Adesimbo Ukiri (MD Avon Healthcare) and Mr Chinedu Chukwuji (GM COSON) while the commentators were Veteran DJ and president of Deejays Association of Nigerian, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Veteran producer- OJB Jezreel, President of Actors Guild of Nigeria, Ms Ibinabo Fiberesima and founder of Nigerian Music Video Awards- Mr Cally Ikpe. The session attempted to break down the different plans available under health insurance and its benefits. It was a real eye opener for a lot of attendees as over 90% of the attendees indicated interest in the questionnaire to subscribe to health insurance.
The second and last session of the event featured ‘The Roles of Government in Health Insurance’. The session was led by Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris who was represented by two prominent directors from the Ministry of Health, Dr. E A Erinoso and Dr Bukola Ayinla. The panelists were Mr. Kola Awokoya (MD Metrohealth) and Mr. Ayo Osinlu (Head of Media & PR NHIS) while the commentators were ace actor, Jide Kosoko, and MD/CEO Megaletrics- Mr Chris Ubosi . The roles of government towards achieving a sustainable health insurance scheme was well evaluated with valuable contributions from the speakers. The plans for the proposed Nigerian Entertainment Industry Health Trust Fund was later unveiled by respected comedian, Mr. Gbenga Adeyinka.
The Nigerian entertainment industry was well represented at the event, as attendees covered the comedy, movies, music and other sectors respectively. Present at the event were; Daddy Showkey, Omawumi, Awilo Logomba, J Martins, Adewale Ayuba, Koffi, Jenifer Eliogu, Terry G, Okey Bakassi, Saidi Balogun, Foluke Daramola, Edi Lawani, Tee A, Dupe Jaiyesimi, Grace Amah, Joseph Benjamin, Audu Maikori, Sheyman, Kene Mkparu, Ngozi Nwosu, and many more. Also present was chief executive officers of various health insurance companies including the MD of Premium Health, Dr. Ladi Okuboyejo and MD of United Healthcare- Dr Kola Owoka. The event was hosted by veteran comedian, Julius Agwu.
Speaking concerning the event, the initiator, Mr. Seun Apara said the success of the event is a testimony that the entertainment industry in Nigeria is ready for a uniform customised health insurance scheme. “From what we have seen here today, it is definitely a confirmation of the fact that the Nigerian Entertainment Industry Health Insurance Scheme is a child of necessity needed to safeguard the health and future of our industry. We have all assembled and listened and also shared ideas on the subject matter. Some that couldn’t make it here will definitely be informed of the development. In the next couple of weeks, we will roll out the plans. Already, over 90% of attendees have indicated their willingness to be part of the Nigerian Entertainment Industry Health Insurance Scheme”.
The Nigerian Entertainment Industry Health Insurance Convention was organised by the Nigerian Entertainment Industry Lecture Series (NEILS).