Sack NHIS Boss, Dissolve Board, Probe Panel Recommends To FG

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The panel commissioned by the Federal Government to probe the activities of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has recommended the sacking of Usman Yusuf, the agency’s Executive Secretary.

The probe panel also recommended the dissolution of the NHIS board led by Eyanatu Ifienne.

According to the report, Yusuf, who has been on suspension since November 2018, had an unhealthy relationship with members of staff of the agency; local unions, health management organisations and health care providers, the Punch reports.

The report further noted that the NHIS boss embarrassed the government with his rants on social media and comments in media interviews.

Yusuf had said “F**k the Minister of Health” during an interview with the Punch in 2017.

The probe panel also said Yusuf failed to utilise the internal mechanisms available before going ahead to drag the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the NHIS before a court of law last November.

The report partly read: “Relieve the executive secretary of his appointment. Justification: Inability to work in harmony with all the relevant stakeholders in the scheme for the attainment of the scheme’s mandate.

“Established cases of infractions of the Public Service Rules i.e. insubordination and refusal to carry out lawful instructions from superior authorities (governing council and the Federal Ministry of Health) contrary to PSR Rule 030301 (0), unauthorised public utterances contrary to Rule 030421 (id), and relevant service-wide circulars.

“Established cases of infraction of the following provisions of the Public Procurement Act: Sections 16(6) and 32(7).

“Infraction of Rule 3125(i) (a) and (b) of the Financial Regulations;

“Embarrassed government through unguarded social media comments.”

The panel also recommended for immediate removal the 13 senior officers improperly seconded to the NHIS from other government agencies by the suspended NHIS boss.

The panel also recommended the dissolution of the NHIS board, stating that it acted arbitrarily by suspending Yusuf even when it clearly lacked the power to carry out such action.

“Dissolve the governing council. Justification: The panel observed the role of the governing council in the present imbroglio and noted from the interactions that the council has become factionalised and is incapable of providing the required leadership for the scheme.

“The governing council embarrassed the government by exceeding its mandate when it suspended the executive secretary,” the report read.

The panel advised the Federal Government to appoint an interim management team to avoid a vacuum and ensure the smooth running of the scheme.

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