Providing universal health insurance coverage in Nigeria

Peter O. Okebukola, William R. Brieger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Despite a stated goal of achieving universal coverage, the National Health Insurance Scheme of Nigeria had achieved only 4% coverage 12 years after it was launched. This study assessed the plans of the National Health Insurance Scheme to achieve universal health insurance coverage in Nigeria by 2015 and discusses the challenges facing the scheme in achieving insurance coverage. In-depth interviews from various levels of the health-care system in the country, including providers, were conducted. The results of the analysis suggest that challenges to extending coverage include the difficulty in convincing autonomous state governments to buy into the scheme and an inadequate health workforce that might not be able to meet increased demand. Recommendations for increasing the scheme’s coverage include increasing decentralization and strengthening human resources for health in the service delivery systems. Strong political will is needed as a catalyst to achieving these goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-246
Number of pages6
JournalInternational quarterly of community health education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Africa
  • Developing countries
  • Health finance
  • Health insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Healthcare management
  • Nigeria
  • Pooling
  • Social health insurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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