In a new twist to the ongoing controversy over the suspension of Usman Yusuf, executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme(NHIS), Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), has said no governing board of a federal agency or parastatal has the power to remove the chief executive officer (CEO) appointed by the president.
This he said while addressing the audience at an induction programme for governing board members of federal parastatals, universities and medical centres at the Transcorp Hilton.
Earlier, NHIS board ahd announced the suspension of Yusuf, citing financial infraction and abuse of office.
However, Yusuf ignored the board’s decision and resumed office, arguing that only President Muhammadu Buhari could suspend him.
The board had insisted that Yusuf remains suspended.
Mustapha said government was concerned that most governing boards have not understood their roles in the corporate governance of the agencies they superintend.
“Some of them are undue interference by board chairmen in the day-to-day activities of their parastatals and agencies, blatant disregard for extant regulations guiding the conduct of board meetings,” he said.
“Others are interference in the function of the CEOs, issuing directives to staff, without recourse to the CEOs, imposing disciplinary measures against the CEOs, in flagrant violation of the laid down rules and using labour unions as agents of distractions in the agencies.”
He said “The role of the boards are limited to setting operational and administrative policies for their agencies in consonance with government policy directives,” he said.
“A board shall not be involved directly in the day-to-day management of a parastatal or an agency. A minister exercises control of parastatals at policy level through the board of the parastatal only.”
“The board must only operate as a part-time board, in accordance with extant rules that forbids allocation of official quarters to members on a permanent basis and payment of estacode allowances for only overseas travels approved by the office of the secretary to the government of the federation and their part-time ministry.”