The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee investigating the crisis rocking the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has resolved to summon the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The House is seeking clarification to transactions with National Health Insurance Scheme.
This followed the submission of the embattled Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Professor Usman Yusuf’s allegation that his suspension was due to his refusal to release N975million to the Ministry of Health.
He made the allegation when he appeared before the Ad-hoc Committee.
Earlier, the Federal Government had inaugurated the seven-man panel set up to investigate allegations of infractions and financial malfeasance levelled against Usman Yusuf.
The inauguration of the panel which was done by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha on Friday, had the Minister of Health, Mr Isaac Adewole in attendance, among others.
In charge of the panel is the Former Permanent Secretary, Mr Bukar Hassan.
The crisis began after an alleged fraud involving the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, was made public.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) accused Prof. Yusuf of perpetrating fraud to the tune of N919m. However, no action has since been taken on it.
According to the panel, Yusuf allegedly paid N919m to consultants for employees’ training and other issues.
The committee said as the head of the agency, Yusuf was personally responsible for all administrative, procurement and financial lapses.
According to the report, his (Yusuf’s) deceitful attitude coupled with ‘name-dropping’ of Mr. President as having sent him to sanitise the NHIS, “he caused more harm than good to the scheme.”
The committee, therefore, recommended that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should probe the agency for diversion of funds and contravention of the Procurement Act of 2007.
The report states that Yusuf contravened the Procurement Act of 2007 through nepotism and other irregular award of contracts and should be sanctioned in line with the provision of the Act.
Explaining how the alleged staff members’ training scam took place, the committee said in some instances, the number of trainees was far more than the entire number of the employees at the agency while in some other instances, some employees were registered for the same training in two different states at the same time.
Most of the consultants were said to have charged about N250, 000 per participant.
The report states in part, “The total number of staff (members) at the NHIS is 1, 360. The total number of staff (members) trained by the scheme based on analysis of payment vouchers on training was 1, 992 while the figure submitted by the NHIS was 2, 023 within three months (October-December 2016).
“The difference between the number of employees trained and the number of employees on the nominal roll was as a result of manipulation of names. It was discovered that some employees did not attend (training) but payments were made for both course fee and workers’ allowances.”
The panel alleged that some consultants were directed to remit part of their fees into a specified private account as kickbacks.
For instance, GK Kanki Foundation was directed by the Assistant General Manager (Insurance) at the NHIS, Mr. Vincent Mamdam, to pay N2.8m into a Skye Bank account with number 1040569204 belonging to one Magaji Garba.
The committee revealed that “the total course fees paid to the training firms was N508, 036, 096 while employees’ allowances for all the training was N411, 608, 704 totalling N919, 644, 800.”