According to reports, the drama surrounding the National Health Insurance Scheme NHIS fraud saga has taken a deeper turn as it has come out that the ministerial investigative committee set up to probe the executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Prof Usman Yusuf was paid N19 million from the coffers of the NHIS as ‘sitting allowance’.
The committee was made up of 21 members of different cadres in the civil. These members were allegedly paid different sums according to their respective cadres. The Ministry of Health, Hajiya Binta Adamu Bello, who was the chairperson of the committee, was paid N1,280,000 while the 3 directors on the committee were paid N960, 000 each. Assistant directors received N640, 000 each and the permanent secretary’s security details were paid N320, 000 each. As if this was enough, stationery gulped N1, 904,000.
Several cries of foul play have come up against these expenditure as it is surprising that a committee set up by the Ministry of Health was funded by the NHIS. In addition, since the NHIS is not a revenue generating agency, but rather a custodian and administrator of health insurance funds in the country, the N19 million spent was obtained from the funds meant to cater to the health needs of Nigerians.
“What is most worrisome is the fact that money was paid out of the coffers of the NHIS which is essentially money from enrollees meant to pay for their medical care and that of their families,” Daily Trust quotes a senior official as saying. If true, the accusation has implicated several other high-ranking staff in the Ministry of Health.
Already, Professor Yusuf is on indefinite suspension after been found culpable of many of the accusations of financial misappropriation levelled against him such as the procurement of a N58 million SUV and corrupt expenditure of N292 million” on health care training “without recourse to any appropriate approving authority.