The report of an investigative committee set up to look into allegations of fraud against the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, has not been made public by the Federal Government, more than three weeks after its submission to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
The report was submitted to the SGF on December 24, 2018, seven weeks after the committee was set up. The mandate was for the investigation to be completed two weeks after the committee was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari, but investigation by our correspondent showed that the committee did not begin work until three weeks after its inauguration.
The Chairman of the NHIS Board, Ifenne Enyanatu, had on October 18 said it had suspended the Executive Secretary after obtaining permission from the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole.
A day after the pronouncement, Yusuf defied the governing council and resumed at the headquarters of the NHIS in Abuja with the backing of policemen. The crisis generated led to the setting up of the investigative panel.
The report of the panel was submitted to the AGF amidst speculation that some powerful individuals in the corridors of power had attempted to sweep the matter under the carpet.
Those who held the opinion expressed the fear that the report and the recommendations of the panel on the crisis, despite its submission, might never be made public or implemented.
While receiving the report in his office in December, the SGF, Mustapha, had defended the lateness of the submission of the report of the seven-man independent fact-finding panel, saying the need for a thorough investigation of the crisis in the NHIS compelled the panel to complete the assignment more than seven weeks after it was inaugurated, instead of the two-week period given it. He also said the report would be made public after its presentation to President Buhari.
He said, “The panel was given two weeks to submit its report. However, the assignment had to be extended due to the nature of the work and the need to address core issues on a lasting basis.”
When contacted on Tuesday for an update on the report, the Director of Communication at the SGF office, Willie Bassey, told our correspondent that there was no new development after the report was submitted to the SGF.
“If the report is to be made public, journalists will be the first to be invited. The SGF said, while receiving the report, that it would be made public at the appropriate time. We still stand on that statement that it will be presented to the public at the appropriate time. I cannot give the information that I don’t have. We are working on what the SGF said on that day. I am also waiting for when the appropriate time will come,” said the SGF’s director of communication.
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