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UPDATED: FG orders NHIS Boss Usman Yusuf to proceed on compulsory leave

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President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered Usman Yusuf, a Professor and Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), to immediately proceed on administrative leave.

The directive was conveyed in a letter signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, on Wednesday.

“This is to allow for unfettered investigation into allegations of infractions and financial malfeasance levelled against him by the Governing Council of the institution and other stakeholders”, it noted.

A seven-member panel has been constituted to probe the allegations against Mr Yusuf.

The panel, headed by Hassan Bukar, has two weeks to submit its report.

The panel’s terms of reference include to investigate infractions alleged against the executive secretary and determine his culpability; identify, investigate and make recommendations on the issues that led to the frosty relations between the Governing Council and the ES; examine all governance challenges in NHIS and make appropriate recommendations among others.

The formal inauguration of the panel is scheduled for November 5 in the office of the SGF.

Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, first suspended Yusuf in June 2017, after an administrative panel found him guilty of allegations of gross misconduct, nepotism, financial recklessness and theft of public funds to the tune of N919million. In October, Adewole made the suspension indefinite pending action from President Muhammadu Buhari.

However, in February 2018, the President reinstated him, a letter from the President’s Chief of Staff to the Minister making no mention of the allegations against Yusuf but simply urging him to “work harmoniously with the Minister”.

On October 18, 2018, a second suspension was ordered for Yusuf by the NHIS board chaired by Dr. Enyantu Ifenne.

Yusuf ignored the order and tried to forcefully resume work days after, a move that polarised NHIS workers and suceeded after he was escortedto his office by 50 policemen.

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