The Federal Government has launched the disbursement of N6.5 billion first phase of Basic Health Care Provision Funds (BHCPF) to 15 states and Federal Capital Territory for Social Health Insurance Agencies. The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said at the launch of the funds in Abuja yesterday that the disbursement to all states that have fulfilled the criteria is to reduce the hardship experienced by many Nigerians who daily pay through out of pocket as a result of ill health. The Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Muhammad Sambo said the disbursement is a giant step towards the attainment of universal health coverage. He encouraged those States not among the beneficiaries today to step up their efforts and be part of the next phase, for the benefit of their people. Kano State led in the disbursement with N948m followed by Lagos N672m others are; Edo – N301m, Katsina – N638m, Yobe – N270m, Delta – N394m, Adamawa – N242m, Anambra – N338m, Kaduna – N552m, Imo – N301m, Bauchi – N530m, Bayelsa – N116m, Ebonyi – N230m, Oyo – N449m, Plateau – N337m, FCT -N118m.