Buhari buckles, removes NHIS boss temporarily as probe continues

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has finally approved the temporary removal of the embattled Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf, pending the determination of the investigation into allegations of corruption against him.

The recent development was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday by Olusegun Adekunle, a Permanent Secretary (General Services Office) in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

According to the statement, Yusuf has been ordered by President Buhari to proceeds on administrative leave with immediate effect in order to allow the investigative panel to carry out its task without interference.

Consequently, Ben Omogo, a director in the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, has been deployed as the Acting Executive Secretary of the NHIS.

The statement read: “The federal government has observed with deep concern the growing tension between boards and chief executives and their attendant implications for governance.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the government will neither tolerate acts of indiscipline from any appointee nor will it harbour any acts of corruption.

“Government will, however, ensure that due process is followed strictly in trying to maintain discipline and probity in public service.

    “With specific reference to recent developments at the National Health Insurance Scheme, Mr. President has after due consideration approved the establishment of an independent fact-finding panel to investigate the alleged infractions by the executive secretary and report back within two weeks.”

    This action by President Buhari has put an end to the face-off between the NHIS boss and the agency’s governing council.

    The governing council had placed Yusuf on an indefinite suspension to allow for an independent investigation into the allegations against him, but he refused to obey the directive insisting that only the President has the powers to sanction him.

    The development had split the workers at the NHIS into two factions with one supporting the Executive Secretary and the other against.

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