18 October 2018

Nigeria: NHIs Governing Council Suspends Executive Secretary 'Indefinitely'

Photo: Premium Times
Usman Yusuf.

The governing council of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has indefinitely suspended Usman Yusuf, the Executive Secretary of the scheme indefinitely.

The chairperson of the NHIS governing council, Ifenne Enyanatu revealed the resolution of the council to journalists after a two-day closed door meeting at the Abuja head office of the scheme.

The chairperson said the council resolved to suspend Mr Yusuf because it has been inundated with petitions and infractions against the official. Mrs Enyanatu said the council also resolved to set up an administrative panel to examine allegations leveled against Mr. Yusuf.

"The panel has three months to complete it's assignment and report back to us", she noted.

She said the reason for the suspension is to allow the panel an 'infetted' space to do a thorough investigation.

"We consulted and got the approval of the honorable Minister of Health before this suspension. "

Mrs Enyanatu also announced that Mallam Sadiq Abubakar will now act as Executive Secretary in Mr Yusuf's stead in the time being.

Mr Yusuf's reign in the state run insurance scheme has been fraught with various allegations of corruption, infractions and highhandness.

The executive secretary was previously suspended by the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, in July 2017 over alleged gross misconduct and fraud.

The minister then set up a panel to investigate the allegations.

According to documents in possession of PREMIUM TIMES, the panel indicted Mr Yusuf on most of the allegations and recommended sanction, following which the minister forwarded the report to the presidency.

But in February, without informing the minister and against the recommendations of the probe panel, President Muhammadu Buhari reinstated the executive secretary into his office.

The reinstatement ignited an uproar, with a group of workers staging a protest at the agency against it.

Since his return in February, many other allegations of fraud has thrailed the controversial official with the staff and many management members of the scheme repeatedly calling for his sack.

More details later.

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