Senate to Probe Corruption Allegations in NHIS, NPHCDA

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  •  Wants Anenih immortalised

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Senate Wednesday mandated its Joint Committees on Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases, and Health to wade into the emerging crisis of confidence and alleged corruption in the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA.

It directed the committees to carry out thorough investigation into the matter and other infractions, and report back to the Senate within two weeks.

This was sequel to a motion on the growing crises in the two agencies, moved by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, Abia North during plenary that “major crises have been brewing at the NHIS over allegations of high-handedness, budget distortion, fraudulent cost manipulation, illegal investments and unprofessional manipulation of the human resources of the agency”.

He added that all these issues have pitched the management of NHIS against its employees and the governing board, noting that this had been jeopardising the interests of the general public.

The Senator lamented that same situation was also applicable in the NPHCDA where an Executive Director had been accused of high-handedness, reckless spending in the purchase of unwanted vehicles, intimidation and unwarranted transfer of senior staff members without regards to due process.

He stated that part of the constitutional role of the senate “is to periodically embark on oversight functions of the ministries and agencies of the federal government for the purpose of enthroning good governance, probity, reducing high-handedness of operators, eliminating corruption and improving overall efficiency”.

“Many of our public agencies today, have moved away from direct focus on serving the citizens, advancing economic and social development – to furthering impunity that border on personality cults, and these certainly run counter to the objectives of the federal government”, he stressed.

The senate president, Bukola Saraki, commended Ohunabuwa for the motion and charged the two committees to do a thorough job on the crises so as save the nation’s health sector from jeopardy.

The Senate also urged the federal government to name the National Institute of Construction Technology and Management, Uromi in Edo State after former chairman, Board of Trustees of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, late Chief Tony Anenih.

It charged the government to accord him all the official burial rites due such national figure who served the country with honour and diligence during his lifetime.

It also resolved, following a motion, titled: “Demise of Chief Dr. Tony Anenih : The Iyasele (The Prime Minister) of Esan People” by Senator Clifford A. Ordia, Edo Centra,l and co-sponsored by Senator Matthew A. Urhoghide, Edo South and Senator Francis Alimikhena, Edo North, to pay a condolence visit to his family in Abuja and Uromi, as well as the people and government of Edo State.

Presenting the motion, Ordia likened the life and times of the late politician to the words of the legendary Martin Luther king, when he said: “An individual has not begun to live until he can rise above the narrow horizon of his particular individualist concerns to the broader concern of all humanity”.

Others who contributed to the motion like the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Senators Biodun Olujimi, Matthew Urhoghide, Binta Masi-Garba, and Danjuma Goje, eulogised the sterling qualities of the late Anenih as a true politician and detribalised Nigerian.

Saraki, in his remarks described the deceased as a great man who served the country diligently and therefore deserved to be recognised and honoured.