Buhari Directs Enrolment Of NYSC Members Into Health Insurance Scheme

NYSC DG Visits Yobe Orientation Camp, Promises Maximum Security
File photo of a group of NYSC members.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to ensure the enrolment of corps members in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

This was disclosed on Monday by the Director-General of NYSC, Brigadier-General Shuaibu Ibrahim during a briefing in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The NYSC DG also assured that the NYSC has expanded resources for the critical health needs of corp members.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Records 300 New COVID-19 Cases, Highest Daily Figure Since August

“Furthermore, we have concluded arrangements with the NHIS for the enrolment of corps members into the national insurance scheme in line with a presidential directive.

“We have also expanded huge resources on critical health needs of corps members, including footing of medical bills,” the NYSC DG said.

The NYSC DG had earlier mobilised 66,000 eligible graduates to participate in the 2020 Batch B service year.

The prospective corps members and course officials are also mandated to undergo the COVID-19 test before admission into the orientation camps set to reopen on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.

Buhari Sacks, Replaces NHIS Boss Usman Yusuf

Usman Yusuf of NHIS
Usman Yusuf of NHIS

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Usman Yusuf.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Director, Media, Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Boade Akinola on Monday.

According to the statement, the President has now appointed Professor Mohammed Sambo, as the new head of the NHIS.

“Following the recommendations of report by an independent fact-finding panel on the NHIS, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the termination of appointment of the Executive Secretary, Prof. Usman Yusuf, who has been on administrative leave and has approved the appointment of Prof. Mohammed Sambo as the new executive secretary,” the statement read in part.

“Similarly, the President also approved the dissolution of the governing board of the NHIS and directed the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health to exercise full powers of the council pending the constitution of a new board.

“President Buhari has also approved the appointment of Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu as Director–General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

“The appointment is in line with the provisions of Section 11(1)(3) of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(Establishment) Act, 2018.”

Alleged $2.1m Fraud: EFCC Re-Arraigns Ex-NHIS Boss, One Other

Alleged $2.1m Fraud: EFCC Re-Arraigns Ex-NHIS Boss, One Other

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned a former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr Oluwafemi Thomas.

Thomas was re-arraigned along with a Bureau de Change operator, Kabiru Sidi, on Friday before Justice Ayokunle Faji of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

Both men were charged with amended seven counts bordering on money laundering to the tune of $2,198,900.00.

According to the EFCC Counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, the first defendant, Thomas, was alleged to have conspired with his wife, Funmi, to make a cash payment of $2,198,900.00 to one Ibitoye Bamidele at their residence on 20, Lagos University Teaching Hospital Road, Idi-Araba, Lagos.

READ ALSO: One Feared Killed In Rivers As Soldiers Allegedly Invade King Ateke Tom’s Palace

The second defendant, Sidi, was also said to have lied to an EFCC investigator, Afeez Mustapha, that he was the owner of the money that the first defendant and his wife transacted with.

One of the counts read: “That you , Dr Martins Oluwafemi Thomas (a.k.a. Dr. Ike), a former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, and Mrs Femi Thomas (still at large ) on or about the 3rd of July 2015, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, procured Bamidele Ibitoye to remove from the Lagos jurisdiction the sum of $2,198, 900.00 ( Two Million One Hundred and Ninety-eight Thousand , Nine Hundred United States Dollars ) being proceeds of Dr Martins Oluwafemi’s unlawful enrichment as a former public officer and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 and punishable under Section 15(2) (c) and ( 3) of the Money laundering Prohibition Act, 2011( as amended by Act. No.1 of 2012).”

Another count read: “That you, Kabiru Sidi, on or about the 15th day of July, 2015, at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, made a false statement to Afeez Mustapha, an investigating officer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 39 2(b)and punishable under Section 39 (2)(c)of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act, 2004.”

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

Their lawyers thereafter asked the court to allow their clients to continue on the bail earlier granted when they were first arraigned in 2016 before Justice Saliu Saidu.

In his short ruling, Justice Faji granted the request on the existing bail and adjourned further proceedings till March 19, 20, and 21, for the continuation of trial.

He also ordered the prosecution to inform the Nigerian Immigration Service about the pendency of the case, especially as the defendants’ international passports have been deposited in court.

NHIS Crisis: Reps Summon SGF, CBN

Reps To Investigate Crisis In NHIS

 

The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee investigating the crisis rocking the National Health Insurance Scheme has resolved to summon the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The House is seeking clarification to transactions with National Health Insurance Scheme.

This followed the submission of the embattled Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Professor Usman Yusuf’s allegation that his suspension was due to his refusal to release N975million to the Ministry of Health.

He made the allegation when he appeared before the Ad-hoc Committee.

Earlier, the Federal Government had inaugurated the seven-man panel set up to investigate allegations of infractions and financial malfeasance levelled against Usman Yusuf.

The inauguration of the panel which was done by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha on Friday, had the Minister of Health, Mr Isaac Adewole in attendance, among others.

In charge of the panel is the Former Permanent Secretary, Mr Bukar Hassan.

FG Inaugurates Seven-Man Panel To Probe NHIS Boss

 

The Federal Government has inaugurated the seven-man panel set up to investigate allegations of infractions and financial malfeasance levelled against the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf.

The inauguration of the panel which was done by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha on Friday, had the Minister of Health, Mr Isaac Adewole in attendance, among others.

In charge of the panel is the Former Permanent Secretary, Mr Bukar Hassan.

Read Also: Buhari Directs NHIS Boss To Proceed On ‘Administrative Leave’

Other members include the Director, HPRS, FMH, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole; Director, Audit, (AuGF), Adewale Owolo; and Deputy Director Expenditure (OAGF), Shamsuddeen Bello.

Others are the Director, Certification & Compliance, BPP, Ishaq Yahaya; Director of Science (FMS&T), Dr. Ekanem John Udoh; and Director, Administration (OSGF), Mrs Jummai Idakwo.

The panel has two weeks to complete its assignment.

The inauguration comes two days after President Muhammadu Buhari directed the embattled NHIS boss to proceed on administrative leave starting from November 5.

According to a statement signed by Olusegun A. Adekunle, a Permanent Secretary in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the decision was to allow for unfettered investigation into the allegations levelled against  him.

Buhari Directs NHIS Boss To Proceed On ‘Administrative Leave’

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the embattled Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf, to proceed on administrative leave starting from November 5.

The President gave the directive on Wednesday.

According to a statement signed by Olusegun A. Adekunle, a Permanent Secretary in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the decision is to allow for unfettered investigation into allegations of infractions and financial malfeasance levelled against the NHIS boss.

“In order to create room for an unfettered investigation, Mr President has approved that the Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Professor Usman Yusuf should proceed on administrative leave immediately.

“In his absence, Mr Ben Omogo, a Director of Administration in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has been deployed to oversee the affairs of the Scheme,” the statement read in part.

President Buhari also approved the establishment of an independent fact-finding panel (which will be inaugurated by the SGF on Friday, November 2, at 3.00 p.m) to investigate the allegations.

Members of the committee which will be chaired by Dr. Hassan Bukar, Include Director, HPRS, FMH, Dr. Emmanuel  Meribole; Director, Audit, (AuGF), Adewale Owolo; and Deputy Director Expenditure (OAGF), Shamsuddeen Bello.

Others are Director, Certification & Compliance, BPP, Ishaq Yahaya; Director of Science (FMS&T), Dr. Ekanem John Udoh; and Director, Administration (OSGF), Mrs Jummai Idakwo.

According to the statement, with the establishment of this panel, the earlier body set up by the Governing Council stands dissolved.

It is expected to report back within two weeks.

Reps To Investigate Crisis In NHIS

Reps To Investigate Crisis In NHIS

 

The House of Representatives has resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the operations of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

This is in a bid to address the series of crises that has clouded the scheme recently.

The resolution follows the consideration of a motion sponsored by Hon. Diri Douye on the need to prevent the health scheme from degenerating into a theatre of war.

On Monday NHIS workers blocked the entrance of the office, preventing the suspended Executive Secretary, Professor Usman Yusuf, from entering the office.

But supporters of Mr Usman broke the lock of the gate open, thereby forcing their way into the office.

Mr Yusuf was suspended by the Governing Council of the NHIS over allegations of fraud.

However, the House asked the ad-hoc committee to report back in four weeks.

Council Lacks Power To Suspend Me, Says Ex-NHIS Boss

Council Lacks Power To Suspend Me, Says Ex-NHIS Boss
A file photo of Professor Usman Yusuf during his appearance on Sunrise Daily in February 2018.

 

The suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Usman Yusuf, has faulted his suspension by the Governing Council of the scheme.

In a letter dated October 19 and addressed to the Council Chairman, Mrs Eyantu Efene, Professor Yusuf argued that the Council lacked the powers to make such a decision.

According to him, the NHIS Act only empowers the Council to appoint directors and other employees of the scheme.

“As you are aware, by virtue of section 8 of the NHIS Act, my appointment, like yours, is at the instance of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces while the Council’s power of appointment is limited to directors and other employees of the scheme,” Professor Yusuf said.

“It is, therefore, clearly ultra vires for the Council to suspend or purport to suspend me from office to the extent that the said suspension is the prerogative of Mr President”.

Yusuf’s reaction comes one day after he was handed an indefinite suspension by the NHIS Governing Council.

Mrs Efene had disclosed this to reporters after a meeting which lasted for about three hours with relevant stakeholders in Abuja.

She added that the Council had instructed Mr Sadique Abubakar to immediately take over as the acting Executive Secretary of the scheme.

Professor Yusuf’s suspension followed allegations of attempts to illegally execute a N30billion investment in Federal Government bonds, as well as insubordination among others.

Read the full letter below:

NHIS Suspends Executive Secretary Indefinitely

 

The governing council of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has suspended the Executive Secretary of the scheme, Usman Yusuf, indefinitely.

Chairman of the council, Mrs Eyantu Efene, announced the decision at a press conference which held at the NHIS headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, after a meeting which lasted for about three hours with relevant stakeholders.

Mr Yusuf’s suspension followed allegations of attempts to illegally execute a N30 billion investment in federal government bonds, inflation of costs of bio-metric capturing machines, as well as insubordination.

Consequently, a panel was set up to investigate the allegations.

The panel is expected to submit the report in three months.

Meanwhile, Mr Yusuf has immediately been replaced by Sadique Abubakar as the acting Executive Secretary of the scheme.

NHIS Has Failed Under Yusuf, Says Youth Group Leader

Coordinator, United Youths Alliance Against Corruption, Mr Solomon Agbo, has accused the Federal Government of attempting to ‘sweep under the carpet’, the case involving the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf, who was recently reinstated.

Addressing the issue on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday, Agbo questioned the reinstatement, stressing that the “NHIS has failed”, under the leadership of Mr Yusuf.

Mr Yusuf was reinstated on Tuesday by President Muhammadu Buhari, after being suspended by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, in June 2017, for alleged gross misconduct.

The suspension, according to a statement by the ministry on July 17, 2017 is in furtherance to the activities of the investigative panel of inquiry as well as the desire to have an uninterrupted and robust investigation of all petitions against some officials of the NHIS.

Read Also: President Buhari Reinstates Suspended NHIS Boss

The Federal Government, however, believes that the reinstatement does not stop any ongoing investigations into the allegations levelled against him.

Many have, however, kicked against the development, with some members of the staff union, taking to the streets in a protest.

Agbo, on the other hand, says beyond the case of the current NHIS boss, there had been continuous cases of previous NHIS DGs subverting the Rule of Law which have never been brought to light until now.

“Talking about the tenure of professor Yusuf, we also had an interest in his predecessor because it has been a continuous process. Even before him, the case has been on with the predecessor.”

Explaining further, he said the NHIS boss failed to follow basic procurement procedures.

According to Mr Agbo, “immediately Yusuf was appointed, he brought in some people (mostly family members) on secondment and placed them in strategic locations.

“The agency became a business venture. He spent above his approval limit. He handled the agency as if it was a private business,” he added.

He also accused anti-graft agencies, the ICPC and EFCC of being reluctant in handling the matter as a result of the President’s influence.

He, however, said his group is currently in court to compel both agencies to swing into action.

This comes weeks after a similar case of reinstatement involving the chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.

The controversy, which saw top government officials trade blames, poked holes in the Federal Government’s efforts in winning the anti-graft war.

Yet again, with the recent case, many have questioned the authenticity of the Federal Government’s war against corruption as well as its ability to root out corrupt officers and are eager to see the outcome.

Police Storm NHIS Office As Workers Continue Protest

RRS-yobe -police

Policemen have stormed the headquarters of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Abuja, as workers are continuing their protest over the reinstatement of the Executive Secretary, Usman Yusuf.

Mr Yusuf was reinstated by President Muhammadu Buhari, on February 6, 2018, after being suspended by the Minister of Health, Prof. Issac Adewole.

READ MORE: Workers Protest Reinstatement Of NHIS Boss

But his reinstatement did not go down well with the workers as the protesters on Thursday insisted he should be removed because of the ongoing investigation into allegations of corruption levelled against him.

The workers have continued their protest today (Monday) inside the premises of the NHIS, but the police barricaded the workers preventing them from carrying their protest outside.

Some of the workers were however seen divided, as some were carrying on with the protest, others were going about their daily activities.

But the Federal Government through the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has said that the reinstatement of Mr Yusuf does not stop any ongoing investigation into the case against him.

Mr Yusuf was on July 17, 2017, suspended by the Health Minister, Prof. Issac Adewole alongside eight other top officials from the commission.

The suspension, according to a statement by the ministry, is in furtherance to the activities of the investigative panel of inquiry as well as the desire to have an uninterrupted and robust investigation of all petitions against some officials of the NHIS.

The statement which was issued on Monday added that the petitions included security reports on maladministration and mismanagement by officials of the scheme.

The affected officers are Olufemi Akingbade (General Manager, Zonal Coordinator South-South Zone); John Okon (General Manager, Finance Account); and Yusuf Fatika (General Manager, Human Resources and Administration).

Also suspended are Shehu Adamu (Assistant General Manager, Audit); Vincent Mamdam (Assistant General Manager, Head Insurance) and Safiyanu Attah (Senior Assistant Officer, Marketing).

Others are Owen Udo Udoma (Senior Manager, Contribution Management) and Innocent Abbah (Senior Assistant Officer, Planning Research and Monitoring).

Workers Protest Reinstatement Of NHIS Boss

File photo: Professor Usman Yusuf

Members of the staff union of the National Health Scheme Insurance (NHIS), have protested against the reinstatement of their Executive Secretary, Usman Yusuf.

Mr Yusuf was on Tuesday reinstated by President Muhammadu Buhari, after being suspended by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, in June 2017, for alleged gross misconduct.

But the Federal Government had said that the reinstatement of Professor Usman Yusuf as the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) does not stop any ongoing investigation into the allegations of corruption levelled against him.

This was made known by the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed on Wednesday in Abuja in his reaction to the controversy that trailed the reinstatement of the NHIS boss.

Earlier, Prof. Adewole, had set up a panel after Yusuf’s suspension and the panel found him culpable of alleged nepotism and theft of public funds.

Adewole approved the NHIS boss suspension alongside eight other top officials of the NHIS.

The suspension, according to a statement by the ministry on July 17, 2017, is in furtherance to the activities of the investigative panel of inquiry as well as the desire to have an uninterrupted and robust investigation of all petitions against some officials of the NHIS.

The petitions against the NHIS Boss and the suspended officials include security reports on maladministration and mismanagement.