14 July 2017

Nigeria: I Will Not Obey Your Suspension Order, NHIs Boss Tells Nigeria's Health Minister

Photo: The Guardian
National Health Insurance Scheme.

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

In his letter dated July 12 on the official letterhead of the NHIS, Mr. Yusuf said he would not comply with the July 6 suspension order.

He acknowledged receiving the letter directing he proceeds on a three months suspension, but gave five reasons why he would not comply with the suspension.

PREMIUM TIMES broke the news of Mr. Yusuf's suspension last week over corruption allegations.

Mr. Yusuf, 54, took over the state-run health insurance provider on July 29, 2016.

But his reign at the health ministry parastatal has been fraught with allegations of fraud.

The suspension came weeks after the Senate launched investigations into his activities as the NHIS chief.

The lawmakers accused Mr. Yusuf of "corrupt expenditure of N292 million" which he allegedly spent on health care training "without recourse to any appropriate approving authority."

The NHIS chief has denied any wrongdoing.

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

Mr. Adewole had ordered the suspension to allow for unhindered investigation of the corruption allegations.

Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole

On Thursday, a civic group criticised the House of Reps for calling for the recall of the suspended official until the ordered investigation was concluded.

More details later...

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