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NHIS: Why we suspended Yusuf –Board chairman

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Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

Chairman of the Governing Board of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr. Eyantu Ifienne, has given reasons why the Executive Secretary (ES) Professor Usman Yusuf, was suspended.

Dr. Ifienne said Yusuf was suspended in order to allow  unhindered investigation of his activities.

She stated this, yesterday, at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee investigating the crisis in the NHIS.

She added that the board established  11 alleged infractions against Yusuf, which included allegations of corruption, financial mismanagement  and arbitrary transfer of workers among others.

“As a council, we observed and documented these infractions over the past nine months…”

Furthermore, Ifienne  revealed that NHIS has been  operating without an approved budget since March 2018. 

“Council held meetings and reviewed four different versions of budget and streamlined expenditure down from a deficit 80 percent of projected revenue to 45 percent. The council removed the N264 million padding discovered in the 2018 budget proposal.

We also reduced the N1 billion staff training to N250 million and the ES, in 2017, spent N919 million for departmental training as well.

We were concerned that NHIS’ last audited accounts was in 2010, making it impossible to determine the true financial position,” she told the panel. The board chairman also noted that Yusuf failed  to revert to the board on the amendments, till date, while he also failed to submit the 2018 profile of income and expenditure of the agency, among other infractions.

Chairman of the Senior Civil Servants Union, Mr. Omomeji Abdurazak, told the panel that the ES misled the council to almost approving N30 billion residual funds of contributors  but for the timely intervention of the unions, which kicked against it.

Besides, Abdurazak  said the Federal Government is yet to remit N50 billion of its contribution to the scheme.

Abdurazak also accused government of removing N10 billion  from the agency; for investment without due process.

Asked to respond to the issues against him, Yusuf said he had already made his submissions in writing.

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