1 November 2018

Nigeria: Buhari Orders NHIs Boss to Proceed On Administrative Leave

Photo: Premium Times
Usman Yusuf, Executive Secretary.

In order to create room for an unfettered investigation, President has approved that the executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf, should proceed on administrative leave immediately.

In his absence, Mr. Ben Omogo, a director of Administration in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has been deployed to oversee the affairs of the Scheme.

"Government recognises the importance of the Scheme as a strong mechanism for the delivery of public healthcare and wishes to re-assure all Nigerians of its determination to place high premium on public interest," he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of an independent fact-finding panel to investigate the alleged infractions by the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Professor Yusuf Usman.

LEADERSHIP recalls that the NHIS boss had been under investigation for several allegations of fraud.

He was among others accused of perpetrating fraud to the tune of N919m and was suspended by the minister of health in July last year.

However, he was reinstated by President Buhari in February 2019 but was again suspended by the governing council of the NHIS on October 19.

In a statement yesterday by the director, permanent services in the office of the secretary to the government of the federation, Olusegun A. Adekunle, said the federal government has found it necessary to restate that the objective for establishing Parastatals is in fulfillment of the need to deliver services to Nigerians faster and better.

According to the government, It has also considered it necessary to restate that the roles of Governing Boards/Councils, are as prescribed by the statutes, guidelines and extant circulars pointing out that the position of Chief Executives of Parastatals is to ensure that policies of government as ennunciated by Boards and Councils are implemented in accordance with their mandate.

However, the presidency observed with deep concern the growing tension between Boards and Chief Executives and their attendant implications for governance.He said, " for the avoidance of doubt, government will neither tolerate acts of indiscipline from any appointee nor will it habour any acts of corruption.

"Government will however ensure that due process is followed strictly in trying to maintain discipline and probity in public service.

"With specific reference to recent developments at the National Health Insurance Scheme, Mr. President has after due consideration approved the establishment of an independent fact-finding panel to investigate the alleged infractions by the Executive Secretary and report back within two weeks.

According to the statement, the terms of reference of the committee is to investigate the alleged infractions listed by the NHIS Governing Council in a letter dated 18th October, 2018 and determine the extent of culpability or otherwise of the executive secretary with regards to the allegations.

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