The House of Representatives on Wednesday summoned the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, over his decision to suspend the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Yusuf Usman.
The House, in its resolution in Abuja, directed the minister to reinstate the ES within seven days and to also halt the re-accreditation of Health Maintenance Organisations pending the outcome of the intervention by the House.
Adewole had announced the suspension of Usman on July 8 over petitions alleging corrupt acts by the NHIS boss.
One of the allegations was that he procured a Sports Utility Vehicle for N58million without due process.
Incidentally, his suspension came while the House Committee on Health Services was investigating the alleged rot in the implementation of the NHIS.
Usman had appeared before the committee, which is chaired by an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Imo State, Mr. Chike Okafor, to blame the failure of the NHIS to deliver services on the HMOs.
It was Okafor, who moved a motion on the floor on Wednesday drawing the attention of the House to the latest twist.
Okafor told the session, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, that it would appear that the ES was being punished for exposing corruption in the NHIS during his speech at the committee hearing.
His motion read partly, “The House is shocked by the testimony and revelations by the ES during the hearing, where he decried the corruption being perpetrated by the HMOs.
“He likened it to the fraud in the fuel subsidy scheme, stressing that they are padding figures of enrollees so that they can get paid.
The House resolution stated, “Invite the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt of the House as the suspension of the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Usman Yusuf, appears to be intended to intimidate him, punish him for testifying before the House and silence him from further testifying before the House of Representatives, in its constitutional duties of investigation of issues of corruption, inefficiency and waste in governance.
“Request the minister and the acting Executive Secretary to stop henceforth every process of HMOs re-accreditation, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation mandated by the House.
“Request the Minister to recall ES of NHIS, Prof. Usman Yusuf, from suspension forthwith and allow him to continue with his sanitisation programme in the agency.”