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How Wills, Trust and Health Insurance Can Save Lives

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Health Insurance

By Gbolahan Oluyemi

In the past years, there has been a sharp rise in diagnosis for major diseases. The development led to an increase in the need for organ transplants by patients suffering from these diseases.

The dwindling medical equipment in public health institutions, systematic migration of health professionals and incessant strike action by public health care workers also worsened the situation.

Other than the institutional problems, most patients usually experience three common challenges when diagnosed with major diseases.

First is the availability of funds to cover the cost of medical treatment. Second is the availability of organs in cases where an organ transplant is required, and the last is the availability of necessary equipment and health care professionals with the needed expertise.

Amid these challenges, subscribing to health insurance, the existence of a health Trust fund and a growing Will writing culture are three tools that can save lives.

One major benefit of health insurance is that it guarantees access to health care irrespective of the current financial status of the patient.

Asides from guaranteeing access to health care, health insurance can indirectly prevent the prevalence of major diseases. This is because most people ignore health symptoms and self-medicate.

This act is attributed to either failure to prioritize health indicators, the cost associated with healthcare or in some cases, the preference for herbs.

Cost-free healthcare under health insurance will encourage people to seek help regarding their symptoms and enhance the early detection of diseases.

Further, health insurance absorbs a substantial part of the treatment cost in cases of major disease and may also cover post-treatment health expenses.

Another salient benefit of health insurance is that it protects patients from medical inflation. The cost of medications is rising, especially when there is a pandemic or increase in the number of persons contracting such disease. Health insurance ensures that Patients do not have to bear the brunt of inflation.

Lastly, reputable Health Insurers/HMOs educate their enrollees.

I personally use Leadway Health and I have been periodically educated on topics such as mental health, COVID -19 Vaccines and Aerobics vis-à-vis my health. This is in addition to the access to qualitative healthcare I enjoy being an enrollee.

Some patients also encounter difficulty in raising funds for their treatment. Sometimes, critically ill persons are constrained to seek financial help on social media platforms. Some patients are unlucky and may be unable to raise the needed fund till their demise.

From experience, Nigerians like to donate to such a life-saving cause. However, the activities of fraudsters and gain seeking individuals discouraged potential helpers from donating.

From experience, these doubts are reoccurring in the minds of donors when invited to support an unknown critically ill person.

The donor’s confidence will be boosted by setting up Charitable Trust with a reputable Trust company regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Trust is funded by public donations and administered for the benefit of critically ill persons strictly on the recommendation of Medical Directors of designation public health institutions.

The residue of the fund can also be applied towards buying critical equipment for public health care institutions. Given the flexibility of Trust, the Corporate Trustee can on certain terms assist in seeking credit to fund pending treatments pending the receipt of donations.

If such an arrangement is in place, financially challenged ill persons will be referred to the Corporate Trustee for disbursement.

However, there is a need to have an organization saddled with the responsibility of publicizing the Trust and encouraging voluntary contributions to the Trust by the members of the public.

Will writing can also be used to save lives, especially regarding the donation of body organs and tissues for transplant. Before now, Nigerians were only accustomed to donating their chattels, shares, money and landed property in their Wills.

However, section 55 of the National Health Act expanded this by allowing persons to donate their body organs and tissues through a Will or document executed in a similar manner.

Every person who is competent to write a Will, may in the Will or a document signed in the presence of at least two (2) competent witnesses donate body organ or any specified tissue to be used after his/her death for training, health research and advancement and most importantly for therapy, including the use of tissue in any living person or production of a therapeutic, diagnostic or prophylactic substance.

This simple act of writing a Will and donating body organs can save lives and make organs available to many for transplant. However, this process should be with the guide of a Medical Practitioner.

This is to ensure the donated organ is timely removed and preserved for use. A Will takes effect from the death of the testator (i.e. the person writing the Will). At death, these organs are no longer useful to the deceased, but they could save a life, can keep a breadwinner alive, keep the candles of hope burning.

Putting good use to health insurance, Trust and Will writing can save numerous patients deprived of treatment due to lack of funds or unavailability of funds. These days, the people are losing confidence in the ability of the government and its institutions to guarantee affordable and qualitative health care.  Hence, people must be creative and explore other alternatives to staying alive.

I am available for a discussion on how health insurance, Trust and Wills via omogbolahanoluyemi@gmail.com.

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Economy

Nigerian Exchange Rises 0.23% as Investors Mop up Bank Stocks

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Nigerian Exchange 1

By Dipo Olowookere

The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited extended its gains on Friday with a 0.23 per cent growth on the back of a sustained interest in bank stocks.

Business Post observed that investors mopped up equities of tier-one lenders yesterday and this buying pressure further lifted the All-Share Index (ASI) of the exchange by 88.15 points to 38,962.28 points from the previous day’s 38,874.13 and pushed the market capitalisation higher by N46 billion to N20.300 trillion from N20.254 trillion.

The market breadth was positive during the session as there were 25 price gainers and 11 price losers, indicating a positive investor sentiment.

Pharma Deko topped the gainers’ chart after its equity price went up by 9.74 per cent to N2.14. Sovereign Trust Insurance grew by 8.70 per cent to 25 kobo, Okomu Oil rose by 5.77 per cent to N110.00, Eterna appreciated by 4.95 per cent to N7.00, while Champion Breweries moved up by 4.71 per cent to N2.00.

On the reverse side, SCOA Nigeria topped the log with a price decline of 9.38 per cent to settle at 87 kobo. Presco went down by 8.18 per cent to N73.00, Regency Alliance fell by 6.38 per cent to 44 kobo, Total Energies depreciated by 3.61 per cent to N192.00, while Sterling Bank depleted by 1.34 per cent to N1.47.

A look at the performance of the five key sectors of the market showed that the banking space closed 1.86 per cent higher, the insurance sector rose by 0.27 per cent, the consumer goods counter appreciated by 0.06 per cent, while the energy index grew by 0.04 per cent, with the industrial goods sector closing flat.

The most traded stock on Friday was FBN Holdings as investors exchanged 481.5 million units valued at N3.6 billion.

Ecobank traded 16.6 million units worth N87.8 million, Zenith Bank transacted 12.0 million units valued at N279.0 million, Access Bank exchanged 11.6 million units worth N100.9 million, while Transcorp sold 9.4 million units for N8.7 million.

At the close of business, a total of 633.5 million shares worth N6.5 billion were traded in 3,228 deals as against the 125.8 million shares worth N1.3 billion transacted in 2,990 deals on Thursday, indicating a 403.61 per cent rise in the trading volume, a 409.36 per cent growth in the trading value and a 7.96 per cent jump in the number of deals.

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Economy

FX Demand Pressure Crashes Naira by N1.22 at I&E

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Nigerian Naira

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira came under immense pressure on Friday against the United States Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market as more customers approach the banks for their forex needs.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had informed FX users to stop patronising traders at the unregulated segment of the market and use the I&E window for their forex transactions.

But it seems the traders at the official window are battling with FX supply as the demand pressure is taking its toll on the local currency, according to its performance yesterday.

Business Post reports that the domestic currency depreciated against the greenback on Friday by N1.22 or 0.30 per cent to close at N414.90/$1 compared with N413.68/$1 it was traded on Thursday.

It was observed that during the session, the value of trades increased by 10.1 per cent or $17.71 million to $193.59 million from the previous day’s $175.86 million.

At the interbank segment of the market, the value of the indigenous currency also depreciated by 3 kobo to settle at N410.70/$1 in contrast to N410.67/$1 it traded at the preceding session.

As for the digital currency market, there was a downward movement in eight of the 10 tokens monitored by this newspaper yesterday as only the duo of Cardano (ADA) and the United States Dollar Tether (USDT) appreciated at the market by 1.2 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively to settle at N1,374.04 and N576.01 apiece.

On the other hand, Ethereum (ETH) went down by 7.6 per cent to sell at N1,713,900.99, Litecoin (LTC) dipped by 6.6 per cent to trade at N86,848.72, while Dash (DASH) fell by 5.8 per cent to N97,992.14.

Also, Tron (TRX) declined by 3.9 per cent to finish at N53.39, Ripple (XRP) lost 3 per cent to trade at N559.99 Dogecoin (DOGE) depreciated by 2.4 per cent to trade N125.90, while Bitcoin (BTC) reduced by 1.9 per cent to close at N24,809,058.00.

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Economy

Brent Climbs Above $78 as Supply Tightens

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Brent Price

By Adedapo Adesanya

Brent crude oil rose above $78 a barrel on Friday, precisely to $78.09 per barrel after it appreciated by 1.09 per cent or 84 cents as global output disruptions forced energy companies to pull out large amounts of crude inventories.

Also during the session, the price of the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures improved by 0.63 per cent or 93 cents to finish at $73.98 per barrel.

The Brent posted its highest value since October 2018, while the WTI since July 2021.

It was also the third week of gains for Brent and the fifth for WTI mostly due to US Gulf Coast output disruptions from Hurricane Ida in late August.

The market has been bullish since news of US crude stocks dropped to their lowest since October 2018 and the broader market received more clarity about the US Federal Reserve next policy moves.

After the US Fed signalled that it could begin tapering asset purchases as soon as November and potentially start raising interest rates as soon as next year, oil market participants turned their focus to global oil inventories, especially those in the United States.

The aftermath of Hurricane Ida is still curtailing oil production in the world’s largest producer, with 16 per cent of crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico still offline, according to the latest data from the country’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

The market also gained as US oil refiners were hunting to replace Gulf crude, turning to Iraqi and Canadian oil while Asian buyers have been pursuing Middle Eastern and Russian grades, analysts and traders said.

Positives from one of the world’s biggest exporters, India helped the market as crude imports rose to a three-month peak in August, rebounding from July’s near one-year low.

And the fact that some members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) have struggled to raise output due to under-investment or maintenance delays during the pandemic also added to the bullish sentiment.

Iran, which wants to export more oil, said it will return to talks on resuming compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal very soon, but gave no specific date. The return of Iranian oil may be damaging to the market since it is exempted from OPEC cuts.

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