Controversy: Nigerian lawmakers ask Health Minister to recall suspended NHIS boss

Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf [Photo: Concise News]
Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf [Photo: Concise News]

The House of Representatives on Wednesday asked the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, to within a week reinstate the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf.

It also asked the minister to halt the re-accreditation of Health Maintenance Organisations, HMOs, pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation of the scheme by the House.

The directives followed a motion by the chairman of the House Committee on Health Services, Chike Okafor.

The health minister had suspended Mr. Yusuf over corruption allegations, one of which was the procurement of a N58 million SUV without due process.

PREMIUM TIMES broke the news of Mr. Yusuf’s suspension and his initial reaction to it.

The health minster later explained the reasons for the three months suspension, saying it was to allow investigations into the allegations.

Mr. Yusuf, 54, took over the state-run health insurance provider on July 29, 2016.

But his reign has been fraught with allegations of fraud.

The suspension came weeks after the Senate launched investigations into his activities as the NHIS chief.

The lawmakers accused Mr. Yusuf of “corrupt expenditure of N292 million” which he allegedly spent on health care training “without recourse to any appropriate approving authority.”

The NHIS chief has denied any wrongdoing.

His suspension also comes in the middle of an investigation by the House Committee on Health Services on the implementation of the NHIS.

Mr. Yusuf had at the public hearing in the course of the investigation blamed the HMOs for the failure of the NHIS to deliver services.

He attributed the alleged corruption by the HMOs to fraud in the fuel subsidy scheme, stressing that enrolee figures were being padded.

The House in a unanimous decision on Wednesday resolved to invite the Minister of Health to explain the reasons for the suspension and also directed him to recall Mr. Yusuf.

Despite the House resolution, the ministry is not expected to recall the suspended official as such resolutions are not binding on the Executive and its ministries. Many of such resolutions have been ignored in the past.

A spokesperson to the health ministry, Boade Akinola, said the ministry had not been informed of the resolution.


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  • princegab

    Our nass, they want to legislate the executives. Whelps in democracy.
    Nigeria we “held” thee

  • Probably

    Mr. Yusuf is Hausa-Fulani, the untouchable

    • Eluba Inas

      That is why he got suspended?

  • Bayo

    Our national assembly is filled with shameless criminals.

    • Izedomi Ohirein

      Most of them are either criminal suspects or surrogate of criminal suspect.
      I hope 90% of them including their entire leadership are flushed out in 2019.

  • James Ojapa

    Prof yusuf exposed humongus scam of over 200 bn being perpetrated by hmo and their cronies in senate and ministry then minister of health conveniently cooks up corruption allegation of about 200 m and hangs it around his neck. APC is truly a scam.

    • No Komment

      @lokojaboy:disqus

      “Gunmen

      suspected to be herdsmen on Saturday abducted the External Auditor of the
      National Health Insurance Scheme, Zakari Sada, along the Kaduna-Abuja highway. Sada,
      a former board member of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, was reportedly
      kidnapped with his driver. The development came barely three days after the
      suspension of the Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Prof. Usman Yusuf, for three
      months over alleged embezzlement of funds.”

      ……………Sahara Reporters

      (July 12th, 2017)

    • Pirofessor of Politics

      If the
      Buhari-led executive is daft what will folks call the House of Representatives
      which talks without sense? How can a parliament order the reinstatement of a
      public servant under executive probe for corruption in accordance with public
      service regulations? Under which law is the House of Representatives authorized
      to decide employment contract for the executive department of government? To me
      the illiteracy in Nigeria has got to a point that all certificates in the hands
      of Nigerians should be declared null and void. Instead of university and
      polytechnic certificates let wach person demonstrate his education by judgment
      call rather than assert being educated by tendering a bogus certificate which
      may have been bought with bribes.

      • Agbalagba

        @lokojaboy:disqus

        THESE CHILDREN IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES NEED HOME TRAINING.

        THEY NEED BASIC LESSONS THAT HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY – RATHER THAN

        THE SHEER NONSENSE THEY SPEW ON THE FLOOR OF PARLIAMENT WITHOUT SENSE.

  • Emmanuel

    Does the current NASS know the difference between the Executive and the Legistilature? I thought they claim there are Lawyers among them? How can they be giving instructions to the executive? I think they are largely very daft.

  • Dike Offor

    This Rep. and Senators has shown that not all of them are sound in law that would push the country to a better part..I wonder where we are heading to with our Democracy funny ways of acting.

  • JOHN

    The House may advise and not direct the executive to do their errands. Is it because Mr Yusuf is from the north with the untouchable mentality? A man is alleged to have committed a misdemeanor and it is right for such a person to be suspended to allow for unbiased investigation, so what is the reps interest in all these. Did he share this alleged loot with members of the house of representatives? EFCC should investigate and make public their finding.

    • TJ

      Pls John don’t bring anything tribal here. A Hausa man was alleged to commit offence, a Yoruba man suspends him, Ibo man passed a motion for him to be recalled. Probably the sharing formula for the loot went wrong.

  • West

    This explains why Fashola will not stop insulting these animals.

  • Peaceometer

    Looters can now seek refuge in legislators, well they are sharing the money together. Bought I thought that’s a gone with PDP budget signing without stress as we have it now. God help our lawmakers to understand Nigeria.

  • Fadama

    No wonder Patience Jonathan ran to them

  • David Adeniran

    What are these law breakers turning the country into?

  • Höly Wähala

    It is the norm that civil servants under investigations step-aside pending conclusion of such investigations, the Minister was right to suspend Yusuf, he should also ignore all non-binding resolutions until the fraud cases are resolved. If Yusuf is acquitted of fraud then, he can be reinstated but before then, he must remain suspended so as not to interfer with the probe. When will Nigerians learn to accept due process as the way to nation building? The NASS is a problem in Nigeria and a big reason the country must be restructured to Parliamentary system of pay-per-sitting… these gang of crooks are jobless criminals. Nonsense!

    • Kallah Bature

      Yes you have a point here.Going by the various allegations making rounds the principal suspending the ES should also be on suspension to pave way for proper investigation.

  • Ola

    These National Assembly guys never cease to amaze me, could they not have written the Minister for a brief on this matter rather than asking him to come physically to explain his decision.

    I wonder how these guys will react if the Executives calls them to come before the Federal Executive Council and explain why they passed motions and bills. They will go INSANE.

    For crying out loud this man was suspended and it does not stop the House Committee from conducting its own investigation, if they need him for whatever reasons , he is still an appointee of the government until his appointment is terminated.

    God please save us from this MAD ASSEMBLY !!!!!

  • oyoko

    Motions are advisory note, the Minister is at liberty to accept the motion(advise) or ignore it. This legislatures are tuning themselves into Legislative/Executive at the same time, it cannot stand!

  • marig

    The current executive is very weak. This is why the legislature is encroaching on its powers. They could not do this during OBJ admin.

    • Medugu

      Please stop this OBJ thing where you not in Nigeria when OBJ was about to be impeached Traditional rulers have to intervene then to save his ass also how about third term

  • Sola Onanaiye

    I have lost Hope in the Current National Assembly, they are just a gang of misfit, They want to be noted when they ought to keep calm and work behind the scene, They will then keep mute when they ought to champion the cause of the masses. Nigeria is in trouble with these NASS. They can not even respond intelligently to Fashola question and Accession on the Budget, what a shame, May God help and save Nigeria.