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Reps summon Adeosun, Emefiele over removal of N10b from NHIS

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Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun. PHOTO: CNBC Africa


The House of Representatives yesterday summoned the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun over the deduction of N10 billion from the National health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) monies domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also summoned were the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris.The Chike Okafor led House Committee on Healthcare services issued the summon during an interactive session with the Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Professor Usman Yusuf.

Okafor who wondered why the monies was withdrawn without authorisation of the NHIS stressed the need by the NHIS to source for more funds to enable it discharge its duties to Nigerians.Yusuf who fielded questions from the lawmakers explained that the monies was taken from the account because the government felt the NHIS remains a revenue generating agency that should remit operating surpluses on yearly basis.

He said the amount was withdrawn from the NHIS Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the CBN in two tranches of N5 billion, first in December last year and the second in January this year.Insisting that the NHIS is not a revenue-generating outfit, he contended that he was not in the know of the purpose for which the monies were withdrawn.
Pledging to avert the mistakes of the past where NHIS monies lodged in commercial banks “just fizzled away,” he promised to devise creative ways of financing the NHIS by reaching out to development partners as well as plough NHIS dormant monies into Federal Government securities as a means of boosting the fund.

He also faulted the notion that he is having disagreement with his supervisory Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole even as he reiterated his desire to re-accredit health management organizations (HMOs) in the country in a bid to ensure delivery of healthcare services to Nigerians.

Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday picked holes on the assumption of office by a newly nominated acting Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Anthony Okechukwu Ojukwu ahead of his confirmation as enshrined in the constitution.

It also mandated its committee on judiciary to investigate the Attorney General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami who reportedly directed Ojukwu to assume office.

The upper chamber reached the resolutions following an adopted order 14 invoked by senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West.Melaye wondered why Malami would unilaterally direct Ojukwu to assume office knowing the position of the law and its attendant consequences on the country’s democratic process.


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