Health Ministry replies embattled NHIS chief, says suspension order stands

The Federal Ministry of Health has reacted to the response of the embattled Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Usman Yusuf, to his suspension.

Mr. Yusuf in a July 12 letter, exclusively sourced by PREMIUM TIMES, addressed to the Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, said he would not obey the suspension order, listing five reasons for his decision.

In response, the health ministry in a press statement on Friday said it dissociates itself from Mr. Yusuf’s letter.

According to the statement signed by the health ministry’s spokesperson, Boade Akinola, Mr. Yusuf, being a public officer, is bound by the regulations governing the Public Service.

“The NHIS is an agency supervised by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Administrative Panel of Inquiry raised by the Ministry to investigate activities of the agency has commenced its assignment with specific terms of reference,” the spokesperson said.

Mr. Yusuf was suspended by the minister for three months to allow for unhindered investigations into corruption allegations levelled against him.

His response to his July 6 suspension was sent same day the House of Representatives ordered his reinstatement, a directive that is not binding on the health ministry. The lawmakers’ position has been condemned by a civil society group who said the resolution was one which encouraged corruption