President Muhammadu Buhari has directed embattled Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr Usman Yusuf, to proceed on administrative leave effective from November 5.
The directive was conveyed in a letter signed by office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, on Wednesday. The letter was signed by the permanent secretary in the office, Mr Olusegun Adekunle.
“This is to allow for unfettered investigation into allegations of infractions and financial malfeasance leveled against him by Governing Council of the institution and other stakeholders,” Adekunle noted.
“In his absence, Mr. Ben Omogo, a Director of Administration in the Office of Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has been deployed to oversee affairs of the Scheme,” he added.
A seven-member panel has also been constituted to probe the allegations against Yusuf.
The panel, headed by Mr Hassan Bukar, has two weeks to submit its report.
The panel’s terms of reference include to investigate infractions alleged against the executive secretary and determine his culpability; identify, investigate and make recommendations on the issues that led to the frosty relations between the Governing Council and the ES; examine all governance challenges in NHIS and make appropriate recommendations among others.
The formal inauguration of the panel is scheduled for November 2 in the office of SGF.
Yusuf was suspended by the board of NHIS on October 18 over alleged fraud and infractions. Its his second suspension over similar allegations since he assumed office in 2016. In both cases, he questioned the powers of the minister and the council to suspend him.