OrderPaperToday– The Senate has directed the Joint Senate Committee on Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases as well as the Committee on Health to wade into the emerging crisis of “confidence and corruption” in the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The Committees were given two weeks to report back to the Senate.
In a motion on Wednesday, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia) said that crises have brewed at the NHIS over allegations of high-handedness, budget distortion, fraudulent cost manipulation, illegal investments and the unprofessional manipulation of the human resources of the Agency.
“The same situation is also applicable in the NPHCDA – where the Executive Director has been accused of high-handedness, reckless spending in the purchase of unwanted vehicles, intimidation and unwarranted transfer of senior staff members without regards to due process,” Senator Ohuabunwa stated.
The NHIS has been locked in controversy following the repeated suspension of its Executive Secretary, Usman Yusuf.
In July 2017, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, suspended Yusuf indefinitely over allegations of misconduct and corruption at the NHIS.
In October, the governing council of the scheme announced a new indefinite suspension of the Executive Secretary.
However, he disputed the powers of the council to suspend him, insisting that he was being victimised. The suspended Executive Secretary subsequently stormed the NHIS with about 50 police officers to forcefully enter into his office.
President Muhammadu Buhari eventually waded in and directed Yusuf to proceed on administrative leave to enable a panel to investigate the accusations levelled against him.
Similarly, the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, has been immersed in allegations of fraudulent practices and violation of procurement laws.