I will not obey your suspension order - NHIS boss dares Buhari's minister

Cesar Mills
July 16, 2017

The suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Usman Yusuf, has officially replied the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole.

The House of Representatives had also ordered Yusuf's reinstatement, a directive that is not binding on the health ministry.

Leading the debate on the motion, Okafor who noted that the House has the right to protect witnesses and support the anti-graft crusade of the present administration, disclosed that the Committee is in possession of documents which showed how the Ministry wanted to turn the NHIS into an impress agency.

The minister had announced the suspension of Usman on July 8 over petitions alleging corrupt acts by the NHIS boss.

However, the House noted that even Adewole is now under investigation, resulting from a petition that he allegedly he received vehicle gifts from a former NHIS ES but has not been suspended by the presidency.

Meanwhile the ministry of health on Friday insisted that the suspension of Yusuf stands "The NHIS is an agency supervised by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Administrative Panel of Inquiry raised by the Ministry to investigate activities of the agency has commenced its assignment with specific terms of reference", the spokesperson said.

The Minister of Health, Prof.

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On Wednesday, the House of Representatives asked the health minister to recall Mr. Yusuf.

Mr. Yusuf had at the public hearing in the course of the investigation blamed the HMOs for the failure of the NHIS to deliver services.

Yusuf pointedly told Adewole that it was only the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who appointed him, that could remove him from office, which has tenure of five years in the first instance and another five, if renewed.

According to him, a total of N60 billion has been paid to HMOs without commensurate results as they owe hospitals over N2.6 billion. "He maintained that there is great corruption in the scheme adding that NHIS ICT department was used by HMOs to pad up to 23,000 enrollees", the lawmaker noted. The ES inquired from the CMDs as to whether there were such projects being executed, they all confirmed to the contrary.

The letter suspending Yusuf, who hails from the same state as President Muhammadu Buhari, was given to him on July 6, 2017, directing him to go on three months suspension to pave the way for an independent probe of the mountains of petitions against him.

As millions of Nigerians remain excluded from the NHIS, many wonder when this crisis will be resolved so that the scheme can receive the drastic internal rejig it had long required in order to effectively coordinate the Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), improve plans on offer, and broaden coverage, thereby ultimately fulfilling its mandate.

The House resolution stated, "Invite the Minister of Health, Prof".

Other reports by GizPress

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