FG probe panel recommends NHIS boss Prof ‘Yar’adua sacking, board’s dissolution
President Buhari advised to sack NHIS boss, Prof Usman Yusuf Yar’adua
The panel set up by the Federal Government to investigate the crisis in the National Health Insurance Scheme has recommended immediate dismissal of the Executive Secretary of the agency, Prof Usman Yusuf.
A copy of the report accused Yusuf of breaching the Public Procurement Act as well as the Public Service Rules.
The seven-man committee headed by Dr Hassan Bukar, a retired permanent secretary, nonetheless, did not recommend Yusuf for prosecution.
The committee added that the NHIS boss, 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.
This, the panel said, would have a negative effect on the health sector if he was allowed to retain his position.
The committee said the NHIS boss deserved to be dismissed for failing to explore internal administrative remedies before suing the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the NHIS last November.
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 committee also recommended the immediate dissolution of the Dr Eyanatu Ifienne-led NHIS governing council for suspending Yusuf when it clearly had no constitutional powers to do so.
It said there was a crisis within the governing council of the scheme and this could negatively affect the smooth running of the agency.
The committee subsequently advised the Federal Government to appoint an interim management team to avoid a vacuum and ensure the smooth running of the scheme.
It said the proposed committee would have a six-month lifespan and should be led by a seasoned administrator with a health system experience and other technical members drawn from the offices of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Bureau of Public Procurement and Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
The panel said the proposed committee would report to the Presidency during its tenure.
It called on the Federal Government to amend the Act establishing the NHIS to make health insurance compulsory for Nigerians even as it advised the government to ensure that “the NHIS is ICT driven.”
Investigations by The PUNCH showed that the committee report was submitted to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, on December 24, 2018.