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Reps Order Recall Of Suspended NHIS Boss, Summon Health Minister

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The House of Representatives on Wednesday ordered the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, to within a week recall the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf.

It also asked the minister to suspend the re-accreditation of Health Maintenance Organisations, HMOs, pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation of the scheme by the House.

This follows a motion by the chairman, House Committee on Health Services, Chike Okafor.

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The health minister had suspended Mr. Yusuf over corruption allegations, one of which was the procurement of a N58 million SUV without due process. The suspension came weeks after the Senate launched investigations into his activities as the NHIS chief.

The lawmakers accused Mr. Yusuf of “corrupt expenditure of N292 million” which he allegedly spent on health care training “without recourse to any appropriate approving authority.”

The health minster later explained the reasons for the three months suspension, saying it was to allow investigations into the allegations.

The NHIS chief has denied any wrongdoing.

His suspension also comes in the middle of an investigation by the House Committee on Health Services on the implementation of the NHIS.

Mr. Yusuf had at the public hearing in the course of the investigation blamed the HMOs for the failure of the NHIS to deliver services.

He attributed the alleged corruption by the HMOs to fraud in the fuel subsidy scheme, stressing that enrolee figures were being padded.

The House in a unanimous decision on Wednesday resolved to invite the Minister of Health to explain the reasons for the suspension and also directed him to recall Mr. Yusuf.

A spokesperson to the health ministry, Boade Akinola, however said the ministry was not yet in receipt of the house resolution.

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