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Senate probes alleged corrupt practices in NHIS, NPHCDA


Senate President Bukola Saraki

Group seeks executive order on looted asset recovery
The Senate has directed its joint Committees on Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases to investigate allegation of corruption in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

Specifically, the upper legislative chamber asked the committee to carry out thorough investigation into the matter and other infractions, and report back within two weeks.

This resolution was sequel to a motion on the growing crises in the two agencies sponsored by Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia North) during plenary.

Ohuabunwa said crisis had been brewing at the NHIS over allegation of high-handedness, budget distortion, fraudulent cost manipulation, illegal investments and unprofessional manipulation of the human resources of the agency, adding that all these issues have pitched the management of NHIS against its employees and the governing board, which had been jeopardising the interest of the public.

The lawmaker lamented that same situation is also applicable in the NPHCDA where the executive director had been accused of high-handedness, reckless spending in the purchase of unwanted vehicles, intimidation and unwarranted transfer of senior members of staff without regard to due process.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who commended Ohuabunwa for the motion, charged the committee to do thorough job on the crises so as save the nation’s health sector from jeopardy.

In another development, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to put in place an Executive Order to enhance recovery of looted assets and management regime in the country.

It also called on the President to develop a disclosure policy on the utilisation of all recovered stolen assets in line with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Kingdom (UK)/Swiss Government and Post-GFAR principles.

Executive Director of ANEEJ, David Ugolor, who stated this yesterday in Abuja during the civil society meeting with the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said ANEEJ had been working closely with the Assets Recovery and Management Unit (ARMU) in the Ministry of Justice in developing policy around the asset recovery issue.

Malami, represented by the Director, Assets Recovery and Management Unit (ARMU) in the ministry, Ladidi Mohammed, said passing of this bill would put to rest the questions and loopholes currently being experienced in the area of asset recovery.

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