NHIS Crisis: FG Sets up Probe Panel, Orders Prof Yusuf to go on Leave

The Federal Government has set up a seven-man panel to investigate the alleged infractions listed by the Governing Council of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) against the embattled Executive Secretary of the agency Prof. Usman Yusuf.

Members of the panel are former permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Bukar Hassan; Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, Director, HPRS, FMH; Mr. Adewale Owolo, Director, Audit, (AuGF); Mr. Shamsuddeen Bello, Deputy Director Expenditure (OAGF), Mr. Ishaq Yahaya, Director, Certification and Compliance, BPP; Dr. Ekanem John Udoh, Director of Science (FMS&T); and Mrs. Jummai Idakwo, Director, Administration (OSGF).

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Gida Mustapha, said in a statement yesterday in Abuja that the members of the panel will be inaugurated on Friday in his office at 3pm.

Mustapha said “In order to create room for an unfettered investigation, Mr. President has approved that the Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Prof. 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.

“It has however observed with deep concern the growing tension between Boards and Chief Executives and their attendant implications for governance. For the avoidance of doubt, government will neither tolerate acts of indiscipline from any appointee nor will it harbour any acts of corruption. Government will however ensure that due process is followed strictly in trying to maintain discipline and probity in public service.

“With specific reference to recent developments at the National Health Insurance Scheme, Mr. President has after due consideration approved the establishment of an independent fact-finding panel to investigate the alleged infractions by the Executive Secretary and report back within two weeks.”

FG’s intervention comes in the wake of a nasty battle between Yusuf and the Dr. Eyantu Ifenne- led NHIS Governing Council, which led to Prof. Yusuf rejecting his suspension by the board.

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