The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has intervened in the crisis rocking the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) by calling on its Executive Secretary Prof. Usman Yusuf, to vacate office and allow a full-scale investigation to be conducted into the allegations levied against him.
Mr. Abubakar Shanabo, a representative of the NLC and the Chairman, Medical and Health Workers Union (MHWUN) FCT Council, stated this during the on-going protest by the NHIS workers in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, the protest over the resumption of the Executive Secretary must continue until victory was ascertained. “This is the third day of this protest and we will not relent, I have been mandated by the national body that we are in full support of the struggle.
“We insist that Yusuf remains suspended and must vacate his office for the administrative panel to carry on with their investigation, “We call on the Federal Government to do the needful as it stands for integrity with zero tolerance for corruption, if nothing is done TUC and NLC national bodies will carry on with the protest on Oct 29″.
“The enrollees are being affected and not getting the maximum health services they deserve, therefore peace and sanity must return to the scheme,’’ he said.
Mr. Adediwura Adeshina, Chairman, Stakeholders Committee of National Association of Nigeria Colleges of Education Students also called on the Federal Government to resolve the continuous conflicts in NHIS. Adeshino said that the scheme expected to function effectively as the health insurer for tertiary institution students across the country could not function due to problems.
“I was part of the representatives in 2013 that signed an agreement during the introduction of the Tertiary Institution Social Health Insurance Scheme under the NHIS, I know the way it started and I have the guideline of how it should function and all the students complied and keyed into the scheme”.
“Today, the Nigerian students are not benefiting from the scheme anymore; if the system is not working the regulatory body should take over and sanitize it, We will not relent in the struggle, this is a sacrifice and we will pay the price for the freedom of our members,’’ he said.
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Medical, and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) and Nigeria Civil Service Union on Oct. 22 commenced protested against the resumption of the NHIS boss. Yusuf was suspended indefinitely by the governing council of the scheme led by Ifenne Enyanatu, over alleged gross misconduct on Oct. 18.
It would be recalled that apparently embarrassed by the litany of allegations of wrongdoing levelled against him by workers, the governing council of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has suspended Usman Yusuf, the Executive Secretary of the scheme indefinitely and with immediate effect.
In his place, a senior official in the lack lustre agency, which has much money to play wth but little to show for it, Sadiq Abubakar, will act as Executive Secretary pending the probe of the activities of the suspended official. The Chairman of the NHIS governing council, Ifenne Enyanatu, announced the decision of the council to axe the embattled ES after a two-day meeting of the board in Abuja.
The meeting, which resulted in the suspension of Yusuf, was held behind closed doors and details of the discussion were not disclosed to journalists apart from the axing of the ES. But Enyanatu disclosed that the decision to suspend Yusuf followed series of petitions over alleged infractions committed by him. She announced that the council also resolved to raise an administrative panel of inquiry to probe the allegations leveled against Yusuf and establish the truth or otherwise of the claims.