Yusuf’s suspension: More procurement charges against NHIS boss.

Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Usman Yusuf

…FP Sets-up Investigative Panel

Following the suspension of the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, an anti corruption non-governmental organisation, United Youth Alliance Against Corruption, has filed a corruption charge against him, for alleged contract fleecing of N400million and abuse of office.

The suit filed at the Federal High Court Abuja, demanded for immediate investigation and prosecution of Yusuf for allegedly approving and awarding contracts of over N400m, beyond his approval limits of N2.5m.

According to the Group’s Coordinator, Solomon Agbo, the suit is a follow-up to the previous petition written to the Minister of Health and other anti-corruption government agencies.

In the petition dated 15th May 2017, the group accused the NHIS boss of awarding contracts of N400m for ICT training, which was beyond his approval limit, and for the purchase of a Land Cruiser Jeep at the cost of N49.1m. He was accused of awarding this contracts without following laid down procedures.

Yusuf, who is barely one year in office, was also accused of approving Supply of e-library equipment to a company named Promatrix Global resources Ltd for N28m with the company getting paid before execution. This they alleged was not in the budget and against procurement rules. 

The NHIS boss was further accused of spending the Schemes’ funds without prior approval of the supervising minister, which is the minister of health. “Professor Usman Yusuf has severally awarded contracts above his N2.5m threshold, which is against procurement act, and most of the contracts were awarded to Mallam Mahdi and his brothers. Without recourse to laid down norms, he approved the sum of N210, 000, 000. 00 for Electronic media, in connivance with the GM Finance, GM Audit and the new Media Head. He has bragged repeatedly of having the backing of Mr. President in defiance to his supervising Minister, Minister of Labour, TUC and NLC,” the petition read.

Yusuf was also said to have awarded a contract to a company Brethrust Company Limited, owned by Mahdi Shehu’s younger brother to purchase a Land Cruiser Jeep at the cost of N49.1m, though he has a functional 2014 Toyota Prado jeep.

The Guardian gathered that it is based on these charges, as well as others by the HMOs, that Yusuf is currently suspended.According to the letter of his suspension, seen by The Guardian, Adewole, said Yusuf’s response to these petitions were “considered unsatisfactory,” hence the Minister said he has set up an investigative committee to probe the several charges.

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