Suspended Nigeria NHIS chief yet to hand over

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 suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf, failed to formally hand over on Friday as he did not turn up at the office.

He had been directed by the Nigerian government to transfer his authority to the most senior officer in the agency, Attahiru Ibrahim.

There had been rumours following his suspension that Mr. Yusuf would defy the directive of the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, and report at work on Friday.

Mr. Yusuf had denied being aware of his suspension from office, telling PREMIUM TIMES Thursday night that he remained the Executive Secretary.

“Who told you I have been suspended or that I did any sharp practices? The person should come forward with proofs,” Mr. Yusuf had queried when this newspaper reached him for comments about his suspension.

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.”

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that Mr. Yusuf did not resume at the office on Friday, thereby preventing an anticipated showdown with the worker’s union in the agency.

“There was no chaos at the office today and everything went smoothly,” Odoh Onuh, the NHIS spokesperson, told PREMIUM TIMES Friday evening.

“We’re now expecting the acting ES to be unveiled to workers any day from now,” Mr. Onuh added.

A Ministry of Health spokesperson also confirmed PREMIUM TIMES’ report that that Mr. Yusuf had been suspended effective Thursday.

“The Honourable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has directed the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf, to proceed on three months suspension with immediate effect,” Boade Akinola, the ministry’s spokesperson said in the Friday morning statement.

Ms. Akinola said the suspension stemmed from the need to properly investigate allegations of financial impropriety against Mr. Yusuf.

He was directed to handover to Mr. Ibrahim who was the most senior general manager until Mr. Yusuf’s suspension.


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