NHIS Probes Alleged Financial Scam by HMO

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) disclosed on Sunday that it had constituted a committee to investigate alleged fraud involving a health management organisation (HMO), Clearline International Limited.
In a statement issued by its Head, Media & Public Relations, Ayo Osinlu, the NHIS said the probe was sequel to alleged discovery of fraud in the operations of Clearline International Limited.
It said that the alleged scam involved a huge sum of money, adding that the incident led to the arrest of two persons, one of whom is a staff of the HMO concerned.
The NHIS  said that its account was neither hacked into nor did it operate any account outside the federal government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) as was being alleged.
“The discovery of fraud in the operations of one of the Health Maintenance Organisations (HMO), Clearline International Limited, leading to the arrest of two persons, one of whom is a staff of the HMO concerned, has come to the attention of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
“That in the spirit of the Scheme’s ongoing rebranding reforms, of which transparency and accountability is a major factor, a management committee has been constituted the day after the crime was reported, to ascertain the veracity of the allegations, the actual sum involved and the circumstances that facilitated the commission of the crime, among other terms of reference.”
NHIS said it was compelled to take steps to clarify issues because of  “the seriousness of the crime, the huge sum of money involved, and the reference to NHIS’ account as being hacked”.
NHIS said that it has no account anywhere else outside the federal government’s TSA in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“It is therefore not possible, or true, that the perpetrators of this heinous crime hacked into the account of NHIS in this act.
“NHIS wishes to reassure its stakeholders and the general public that it will not tolerate any breach of trust or guidelines under its operations, while we also remain committed to the ongoing reforms aimed at repositioning the agency as a result-oriented and socially-responsible public institution,” it said.
Two suspects were arrested by the Lagos Police Command for allegedly hacking into the account of NHIS, using the platform of one of the HMOs, Clear line International Limited, and stole N60 million.