HMCAN deplores recall of NHIS boss, Usman Yusuf
Threatens to go to court
There’s no respite yet for the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf as the Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria (HMCAN), the umbrella body of licensed health insurance operators, today condemned his reinstatement by President Muhammadu Buhari and threatened to sue the Federal Government over what it considered a breach of the Act under which the scheme was established.
Addressing journalists in Lagos earlier today, the Chairman of the association Dr. Tunde Ladele expressed outrage about the recall of the NHIS boss from suspension at a time he was being investigated for some serious allegations.
Dr. Ladele recalled that Prof Yusuf was initially suspended for three months to allow for an administrative investigative committee to look into the various allegations including “those of monumental fraud, gross abuse of office and nepotism inimical to the NHIS Scheme.”
He disclosed that the NHIS boss was suspended indefinitely following discovery by the Ministerial Investigative Committee that the sum of N919m had been dubiously given to consultants for staff training. The Committee, he noted had recommended that the The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should probe the agency for diversion of funds and contravention of the Procurement Act.
“HMCAN notes the assurances of Government that investigations of allegations are ongoing. Whilst noting the gravity of the allegations. HMCAN is mindful of the dictum that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“We advise that in the spirit of transparency, accountability and the stance of Government on anti-corruption, the report and investigations should not be swept under the carpet. Doing this will erode public confidence and cast a doubt on the sincerity of Government.”
Fielding reporters questions, Dr. Ladele said the government should have waited for the EFCC to conclude its investigations, even if it was going to recall Yusuf.
He described the NHIS boss as someone without any idea of what the principles of health insurance is all about. According to him, Yusuf had problem with staff, the providers, the ministry of health which is supervising him and the Senate.
“For the period of about one year he was at the helm of affairs in NHIS, he didn’t add any value,” he stressed adding that HMCAN was totally against his reinstatement and was in alignment with the public outrage on the development.
“We condemn it but we won’t go into the politics of it,” Dr Ladele further said.
He disclosed that HMCAN had earlier gone to court over the appointment of the Executive Secretary which he said, was not in line with the NHIS Act “and the libelous things he was saying against us.”
He added that the association decided to drop the case following his suspension but will go back to court now that he has been reinstated.
“We will certainly go to court,” he stressed.