“The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole Can’t Remove or Suspend Me, Only President Buhari Can Do That” – NHIS Executive Secretary, Prof. Usman Yusuf
Professor Usman Yusuf, The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has refused to heed to the order recently directed to him by the honorable minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole to go on 90days (3-months) suspension.
Professor Usman Yusuf was directed by the health’s minister on July 7, to embark on good 3 months suspension in order to spare a way for investigation which follows the petitions charged against him for involving in corruption, among the charges against him is the illegal purchase of a SUV car worth N58m.
Recently, the Senate had commenced a thorough investigation into Professor Usman Yusuf led-administration which they accused him of “corrupt expenditure of N292m” which he spent on health care training “without recourse to any appropriate approving authority”.
Although, in a letter issued on July 12, 2017 the NHIS secretary gave reason for his inability to adhere with the directive.
According to Yusuf, with respect to the Act set up by the scheme, Only the president of the federation can appoint or remove any executive secretary of NHIS.
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“If not only I am remove from my position by president buhari under the circumstances clearly stated in the NHIS Act, my appointment as the executive secretary of NHIS will last for good five years. This is noted to another term of the same period of five years at the discretion of the President,’’ – the letter read.
Prof. Usman Yusuf said although the NHIS Act also give authoritative power to the minister of health to pronounce directive of general nature to the Governing Council of NHIS and the minister can exercise presidential order in the absence of the council but such powers given to the minister did not include “discipline, suspension or termination of the NHIS’ Executive Secretary from office.”
The NHIS Executive secretary, Prof Usman added that “the directive in your letter under reference cannot find comfort under the said section of Presidential mandate.”
He also argued that the minister’s order is not in accordance with the Public Service Rules as no prima facie case had been charged up against him with respect to the petitions referred to in the suspension letter worded by the honorable minister.
- “The fact that there are still uncleared petitions against a public officer which are yet to be substantiated does not constitute a ground for suspension under Public Service Rules.”
He added that the petitions against him by the Professor Issac Adewole are also under investigation by the ICPC, which they haven’t submit any report or outcome yet.
- “In the light of the this, I wish to humbly call on the Honourable Minister that he should allow the investigations of these petitions to follow due process”.
The House of Reps has also ordered the NHIS’ Executive Secretary, Prof. Usman Yusuf reinstatement which is a directive that doesn’t linked with the health ministry.