Ex NHIS boss absolves self of alleged complicity in land deal

FORMER Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Femi Thomas, has exonerated himself of involvement in any shady deal in the purchase of a parcel of land for the expansion of the scheme’s office in Abuja.

Thomas is being accused of purchasing the land measuring less than 3000 square metres and situated adjacent NHIS corporate headquarters in Utako District, Abuja for N1.5 billion, a price said to be three times its market value and about N49 million also paid as “agency fee” for the deal to a company allegedly owned by an associate of the former chief executive of the agency, Dr. Thomas Olufemi Martins; an accusation he has vehemently denied.

Moreover, there are talks that the health agency didn’t need to acquire the land at that amount because it has a bigger land in Gudu District of the Federal Capital territory (FCT).

Reacting, at the weekend, to allegation of his complicity in the deal, the NHIS former boss, through his Media Aide, Sola Adeyemi, stated that the allegation was a calculated attempt to discredit and tarnish the image of his boss, adding that he was unaware of any previous offers made to his two predecessors for the same parcel of land at N300 million and N450 million respectively.

He described the current crisis rocking the agency as “the machination of some elements in the scheme who are bent on destroying any good policy that runs against their personal interest,” further arguing that all the allegations against the leadership of the scheme is an attempt to discredit the intention and plans to make possible change in the scheme.

Explaining how the whole dealings went, Adeyemi said: “When the management wanted to buy the land, as the practice, we called the Federal Ministry of Works (FMW), and they sent their evaluation department to come and evaluate the property, and the report by the ministry put the value of the property at N1.5 billion”.

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