The Federal Government on Wednesday ordered the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, to proceed on administrative leave immediately.
Government has also set up a seven-man panel to investigate the allegations levelled against him by the scheme’s Governing Council, which led to his recent controversial suspension.
The government’s position was contained in a statement by the Permanent Secretary, General Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olusegun Adekunle.
Adekunle said the decision to send Yusuf on administrative leave was based on the need to create a room for an unfettered investigation.
In his absence, Director of Administration in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Ben Omogo, has been deployed to oversee the affairs of the scheme.
The statement read, “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.
“The membership of the panel include: Dr. Hassan Bukar -Chairman; Dr. Emmanuel Meribole –member (Director, HPRS, Ministry of Health); Mr. Adewale Owolo –member (Director, Audit, Auditor-General of the Federation); Mr. Shamsuddeen Bello –member (Deputy Director Expenditure, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation); Mr. Ishaq Yahaya –member (Director, Certification and Compliance, Bureau of Public Procurement); Dr. Ekanem Udoh –member (Director of Science, Ministry of Science and Technology); and Mrs. Jummai Idakwo –Secretary (Director, Administration, OSGF).
“In order to create room for an unfettered investigation, Mr. President has approved that the Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Prof. Usman Yusuf should proceed on administrative leave immediately.
“In his absence, Mr.Ben Omogo, a Director of Administration in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has been deployed to oversee the affairs of the scheme.
“Government recognises the importance of the scheme as a strong mechanism for the delivery of public healthcare and wishes to re-assure all Nigerians of its determination to place high premium on public interest.”