Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Presidential Independent Fact-finding Panel, which probed the allegation of fraud against the suspended Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr. Usman Yusuf, has submitted its report to the federal government.
The panel headed by Dr. Bukar Hassan, a retired Permanent Secretary, submitted the report yesterday to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
The report comprises six annexures and a main summary of the findings. It was submitted almost two months after the panel was inaugurated.
Hassan disclosed that in the course of the investigation, the panel interfaced key stakeholders, including the Minister of Health, Dr. Isaac Adewole; Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Health, Abdulaziz Mashi Abdulahi; the suspended Executive Secretary NHIS, the management team of the scheme, the union leaders and the staff among others.
He also added that the panel constituted sub teams to examine the alleged infractions against Yusuf as they related to administration, financial management and procurements, while the sub-teams also reviewed memoranda and presentations received from stakeholders.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the establishment of the panel into the NHIS crisis after due consultation. Yusuf was suspended on November 1, 2018, while the Director of Administration in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Ben Omogo, was deployed to oversee the affairs of the scheme.
The panel was tasked to investigate the alleged infractions listed by the NHIS Governing Council in a letter dated October 18, 2018, and determine the extent of culpability or otherwise of Yusuf with regards to the allegations.
After receiving the report, Mustapha assured the panel that it would be expeditiously processed for implementation while the decision of the federal government on the panel recommendations would be made public at the appropriate time.
He regretted that in spite of government intention to ensure harmonious working relationship between governing boards and managements of parastatals, it continued to observe the eruption of different scales of skirmishes from board rooms into public domain.
“In order to bring board members and their chief executives up to speed on current government policies and programmes as well as legislations guiding ways of conducting government business, broad-based induction courses were organised and over 60 agencies in four batches benefited from such induction courses. The NHIS was in the first batch of the induction course,” Mustapha disclosed.