Reps Order Recall Of Suspended NHIS Boss, Summon Health Minister

Reps Order Recall Of Suspended NHIS Boss, Summon Health Minister

However, in a daring tone, never seen in the history of the public service, Prof Yusuf fired back at the Health Minister on July 12, telling him to his face that he could not proceed on the suspension as the minister lacks the power to sanction him.

There is a situation with the administration of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which is brewing into a clash of powers that could stink.

Professor Usman Yusuf has rejected the recent directive by the Minister of Health to go on three months suspension.

To this extent, the House after robust debate on the motion sponsored by Chike Okafor, chairman, House Committee on Healthcare, issued seven day ultimatum to Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health to reinstate the suspended Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf.

Consequently, the House, which vehemently condemned his suspension at plenary, said he was being witch-hunted with intent to punish him administratively for speaking out.

It cited an instance whereby "The minister wrote to the Executive Secretary, through the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Binta Adamu Bello, Ref No: DFA/CORR/001, and dated March 28, 2017, directing the ES to pay the sum of N197,072,500 only for rehabilitation works in some Federal Medical Centres, contract awarded by the ministry in 2016 and directed him to pay the money to the ministry's account number: 0020155061015 in the CBN, when there is no budgetary provisions for this payment in the NHIS 2016 budget".

Members of the House of Representatives have summoned the Minister of Health, Prof.

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Yusuf said that it was wrong of Adewole to have suspended him as "the letter of suspension is not in accordance with public service rules as no prima facie case has been established against me in respect of the petitions".

Yusuf was handed a three-month suspension to give room for unhindered investigations into corruption allegations levelled against him.

The mere fact that there are pending petitions against a public officer which is yet to be substantiated does not constitute a ground for suspension under the Public Service Rules.

A spokesperson to the health ministry, Boade Akinola, however said the ministry was not yet in receipt of the house resolution.

The lawmakers said the allegation that Yusuf committed a series of misdeeds in office were beyond the ministry's duties of probing into alleged corruption, inefficiency and wastage in the scheme's governance.

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.

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