Nigeria’s Health Insurance Agency, NHIS, has reacted to a trending report that its corporate account was recently hacked.
Several publications including Daily Trust reported how two persons, Tunde Ogunseye and Funmilayo Oyelaja, were arrested by the police in Lagos for allegedly hacking into the NHIS account, stealing N60 million from it.
The police said one of the suspects, Ms Oyelaja, took advantage of being a staff of Clearline International Limited, a Health Management Organisation, HMO, based in Lagos, to hack into the account, a report published a week ago said.
The police also said the suspects have been on their watchlist and were apprehended when they were attempting to ‘elope’ to Ghana.
The report, however, did not state clearly when the incidents happened or provide specific details on how the account was hacked.
Reacting in a statement on Sunday, the NHIS spokesperson, Ayo Osinlu, said it was a false report “as it was impossible for the scheme’s account to be hacked or tampered with”.
“The NHIS has no account anywhere else outside the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It is therefore not possible, or true, that the perpetrators of this heinous crime hacked into the account of NHIS in this act,” the statement said.
Mr Osinlu also said a “Management Committee has been constituted the day after the crime was reported, to ascertain the veracity of the allegations, the actual sum involved and the circumstances that facilitated the commission of the crime, among other terms of reference.
“NHIS wishes to reassure its stakeholders and the general public that it will not tolerate any breach of trust or guidelines under its operations.”
HMOs are an integral component of the NHIS service delivery to enrollees (beneficiaries).
Though they are the managers of the scheme’s funds, the relationship between the NHIS and HMOs is a Public-Private Partnership.
HMOs are the middlemen between the beneficiaries and the healthcare providers.
They pay hospitals monthly for care provided to participants after collecting a quarterly upfront from the agency.