Government & Politics

NHIS Boss, Usman Yusuf Suspended Over ‘Various Allegations’


Nigerian government, through the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole has suspended the Chief. He was ordered to proceed on three months suspension with immediate effect.

This is contained in a statement on Friday by Boade Akinola, Director, Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health.

Akino said the suspension was “a result of various allegations and petitions against him”.

The Minister also directed the setting up of an investigative committee to look into the various allegations in accordance with the Public Service Rules.

He said that Yusuf was directed to handover to the next most senior General Manager in the agency.

Akinola advised staff of the agency to be law abiding, vigilant and safeguard all government properties, including valuable documents.

Sources within the Ministry had in June said that some CEO of agencies had undertaken wholesale promotion and demotion of staff in their establishments, in open violations of existing public service rules and disrespect to their parent Ministry and the Minister of Health.

The source alleged that, the CEOs of both the NHIS and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), had been removing duly appointed General Managers (in the case of the NHIS) and Directors in the case of the NPHCDA, from Headship of Departments and replacing them with junior officers, contrary to public service rules and tenure policy of the federal government, as it relates to Directors and Permanent Secretaries.

Investigation of the situation in the Ministry of Health, the NHIS and NPHCDA indicated that the officers affected had not been indicted of any misconduct.

“The actions of these new chief executives have created institutional confusion and in-fighting within the Agencies at a time when the ministry and its parastatals are expected to be busy working on how to implement President Buhari’s Change Agenda”, a source at the Ministry said.

Staff morale was also said to be low in both Agencies and the Ministry, because of apparent reluctance or helplessness of the Minister to reprimand those involved in the unwholesome act.

According to the source, “the impunity with which the new Chief Executives carried out their initial activities had begun to erode donor confidence in the capacity of the Ministry of Health to carry out its mandate,” adding this may lead to ultimate withdrawal of international technical and financial support.

At the House of Representatives, members had unanimously agreed to investigate corrupt practices at the NHIS, with a resolution to amend the act establishing it.

At the recently concluded 2-day public hearing, Chairman, House Committee on Health Services, Hon. Chike Okafor, said, “what was conceived to make healthcare affordable and accessible to workers has been transformed to a conduit pipe by some persons and organisations to enrich individuals and organisations”.‎

The lawmakers also contemplated suspending the scheme and amend the act to reflect its original goal.

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