Nigerian President, Buhari, has directed the embattled Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf, to proceed on administrative leave. This will start on November 5th.
A statement issued by the Permanent Secretary in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olusegun Adekunle, says the decision is to allow for a thorough investigation into allegations of corruption leveled 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.
Yusuf has been accused of financial imrporpiety. He was suspended by the Minister of Health Isaac Adewole in July, 2017 but was called back by the presidency in February, 2018. On October 18th this year, he was suspended by the board of the health parastatal but he forcefully resumed with the aide of his police escorts on October 22nd.