Panel Proposes Sack Of NHIS Executive Secretary, Usman Yusuf

Panel Proposes Sack Of NHIS Executive Secretary, Usman Yusuf

The panel investigating the misconduct of Professor Usman Yusuf, Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has proposed that the Nigerian government dismisses Yusuf for various infractions he has committed.

The panel, led by Hassan Bukar, made the recommendation after the conclusion of its investigations.

Yusuf was found to have negated the outline laid down by the Public Procurement Act.

The panel also recommended the immediate dismissal of 13 senior officers in the agency in the report presented to President Muhammadu Buhari on December 24, 2018.

The report 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 the dissolution of the NHIS  governing council.

“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.”

However, close to four months after the report was submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari, he is yet to take any action on it.

In 2017, Yusuf was accused of diverting public funds to private use by staff and labour union group. He was accused of bringing 13 officers from other government agencies and giving them “undue promotion”.

He was suspended by the Minister of Health in July 2017, while a committee was set up to investigate Yusuf. The committee accused Yusuf of fraud to the tune of N919million, and recommended that anti-graft agencies investigate and prosecute him if need be.

The Presidency ordered Yusuf to return to return as Head of the agency.

After his return, Yusuf was alleged to have paid consultants N508million without following due process.

Yusuf was also quoted to have said “F**k the Minister of Health” during an interview with The Punch newspaper in 2017, among other things he is being investigated for.

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