Suspension of NHIS boss not a witch hunt- SGF

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Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha has stated that the suspension of the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Professor Usman Yusuf, was not an attempt to witch hunt him, but rather a strong desire by the Federal Government to set things right.

The SGF who made this claim yesterday while inaugurating the seven-man Presidential Independent Fact-Finding Panel, said that owing to the recent crisis that has enmeshed the NHIS, President Muhammadu Buhari had deem it necessary to set up this panel.

“Unfortunately, in recent times, the National Health Insurance Scheme has been embroiled in one crisis or the other. Lately, these imbroglios have degenerated to the purported suspension of the Executive Secretary of the Scheme by its Governing Council, and calls from different quarters for the scrapping of the Health Management Organizations (HMO).

“It is however very important to note that, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari is very passionate about the healthcare and wellbeing of all Nigerians; and this has informed his administration’s desire to make provision of quality and affordable healthcare as one of its cardinal objectives.

“As a result of the crisis rocking the Scheme, it has become necessary to constitute this Presidential Independent Fact-Finding Panel to determine the immediate and remote causes of the crisis,” he stated.

It was earlier reported that members of the seven-man panel include: Dr. Hassan Bukar, Chairman; Dr. Emmanuel Meribole; Mr Adewale People, Director, Audit, AUGF; Mr. Shamsudeen Bella, Deputy Director Expenditure, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, OAGF.

Other are: Mr. Ishaq Yahaya, Director, Certification and Compliance, Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP; Dr. Ekanem John Udoh, Director of Science, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, and Mrs. Jummai Idakwo, Director Administration in the office of the Secretary to the government of the federation.

The SGF further urged the members of the panel to be non-partisan and dispassionate in the discharge of their assignment, adding that it was a call to national duty.

Earlier in his remarks, Minister of Health, Prof. Issac Adewale while noting that the problem of the NHIS was deeply rooted, assured of the ministry’s cooperation with the panel.

“The problem of the NHIS is deeply rooted and it is beyond individuals, and so it is important to look at the NHIS in totality so that we can have a strong institution that will serve the interest of Nigerians,” he added.

Dr. Hassan Bukar, Chairman of the panel, however assured that they would assiduously with the limited time given to them to meet up with the expectations of the president and Nigerians. The panel has been mandated to report back on its findings within two weeks.

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