OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has resolved to summon the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, and the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, over the withdrawal of N10 Billion from funds belonging to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The House also mandated its committees on Healthcare Services, Finance and Anti-corruption to summon the Accountant General of the Federation concerning the withdrawal.
The resolution is sequel to a motion moved by Chike Okafor (APC, Imo), entitled: ‘Need to investigate the illegal withdrawal of the sum of N10B from the “insured persons” fund of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).’
Moving the motion, Okafor noted that during a recent oversight function of the health insurance agency by the Committee on Healthcare Services, two suspicious withdrawals of N5b were discovered. The first occurred on the 28th of December 2016 and the other on the 11th of January 2018, a period while the Executive Secretary of the agency, was suspended.
According to Mr. Okafor, the Executive Secretary of the agency, Usman Yusuf told the Committee that “neither him nor any staff of the agency made request for either of the two illegal withdrawals, stating that the withdrawals were authorized by the Honourable Minister of Finance without the input of the agency and in contravention of the laws and regulations governing such action.”
Okafor further stated that withdrawal of monies from such designated accounts under the Treasury Single Account (TSA) at the CBN, by any government agency, happens at the request of the Chief Accounting Officer of the agency.
Responding to the motion, AbdulRazak Namdas (APC, Adamawa) noted that funds should be utilized instead of the current practice of hiding monies and borrowing from abroad.
“It is only when you hide money that such things happens, money should be used instead of going abroad to borrow money.
“The fact that the ES is saying that the Minister ordered that withdrawal. I think we should allow the committee to investigate the motion, we will be shocked that more revelations would emerge.”
Also supporting the motion, Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) said that “corruption has developed many wings, this motion is necessary because it is beyond one agency. You would recall that there was a time this House intervened when the ES was suspended. For funds to be withdrawn while the ES is on suspension is suspicious.”