The Oasis Reporters
February 7, 2018
When the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf gave Five reasons why he would ignore Health Minister Prof Isaac Adewoye’s suspension order last year, he knew the grounds he was standing on.
Though suspended by the minister while President Buhari was on extended medical vacation in London, he refused to hand over.
As a blue blooded Northerner, Yusuf has been vindicated for
President Muhammadu Buhari has reinstated him.
Mr. Yusuf was suspended by the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewoye, in June 2017, following allegations of gross misconduct.
A panel commissioned by the minister after Mr. Yusuf’s suspension later found him culpable of infractions that ranged from nepotism to theft of public funds.
An administration official familiar with the development told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday evening that Mr. Buhari did not consider Mr. Yusuf’s indictment by a ministerial panel before asking him to return to work.
According to the source, the letter of reinstatement was sent to Mr. Adewole on Tuesday evening.
Mr. Adewole confirmed receipt of the reinstatement letter to PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday night, but did not elaborate on when Mr. Yusuf would resume or under which terms.
“It is true that the president has reinstated him,” Mr. Adewole said.
The reinstatement letter urged Mr. Yusuf to work closely with the minister upon resumption.
Eluma Asogwa, a legal practitioner has described the incident as
“a humiliation of the minister,” Mr. Asogwa went on to say, “He has sent a wrong signal and encouraged insubordination amongst heads of agencies against ministers.”
“This has now become a growing trend that does not portend well for our polity, it does not even augur well for the anti-corruption war of the president,” he said.
The House of Representatives had demanded Mr. Yusuf’s reinstatement shortly after he was suspended, saying the minister was wrong and absolved the NHIS boss of any wrongdoing.
Mr. Yusuf had also replied the minister that he would not obey the suspension, saying the minister had no powers to suspend him.
Mr. Yusuf, 54, took over the state-run health insurance provider on July 29, 2016.
But his reign at the agency has been fraught with graft controversies.
The suspension came weeks after the Senate launched investigations into his activities as the NHIS chief.
The lawmakers accused Mr. Yusuf of “corrupt expenditure of N292 million” which he allegedly spent on health care training “without recourse to any appropriate approving authority.”
The NHIS chief denied any wrongdoing.
The panel established by the health minister indicted Mr. Yusuf following which he was suspended indefinitely.
Mr. Adewole in a letter to the embattled NHIS chief, dated October 5, indicated that the committee that investigated Mr. Yusuf had submitted its report.
He said the report had been forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for further action.
The curious angle to the saga is the advice that both of them should work together in harmony and cooperation.
Is that really possible when relationships have been strained?
But in Nigeria, no embarrassment is too big or too small as long as one can keep his job. Pride is out of the equation.
Ordinarily, this ought to be seen by the health minister as a “loss of confidence” in him. President Buhari cannot trust his judgment and still go against his action over a subordinate.
In saner climes, he’d do the right thing and quit.
Source : Premium Times