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Sack NHIS Boss, Dissolve Board, Probe Panel Tells FG

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The panel set up by the Federal Government to investigate the crisis in the National Health Insurance Scheme has recommended immediate dismissal of the Executive Secretary of the agency, Prof Usman Yusuf.

A copy of the report which was obtained by The PUNCH accused Yusuf of breaching the Public Procurement Act as well as the Public Service Rules.

The seven-man committee headed by Dr Hassan Bukar, a retired permanent secretary, nonetheless, did not recommend Yusuf for prosecution.

The committee added that the NHIS boss, who has been on suspension since November 2018, had an unhealthy relationship with members of staff of the agency; local unions, health management organisations and health care providers.

This, the panel said, would have a negative effect on the health sector if he was allowed to retain his position.

Yusuf, who said, “Fu*k the Minister of Health” during an interview with The PUNCH in 2017, was also accused of embarrassing the government through his unguarded social media comments.

The committee said the NHIS boss deserved to be dismissed for failing to explore internal administrative remedies before suing the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the NHIS last November.

The report read in part, “Relieve the executive secretary of his appointment. Justification: Inability to work in harmony with all the relevant stakeholders in the scheme for the attainment of the scheme’s mandate.

“Established cases of infractions of the Public Service Rules i.e. insubordination and refusal to carry out lawful instructions from superior authorities (governing council and the Federal Ministry of Health) contrary to PSR Rule 030301 (0), unauthorised public utterances contrary to Rule 030421 (id), and relevant service-wide circulars.

“Established cases of infraction of the following provisions of the Public Procurement Act: Sections 16(6) and 32(7).

“Infraction of Rule 3125(i) (a) and (b) of the Financial Regulations;

“Embarrassed government through unguarded social media comments.”

The panel also recommended for immediate removal the 13 senior officers improperly seconded to the NHIS from other government agencies by the suspended NHIS boss.

The committee also recommended the immediate dissolution of the Dr Eyanatu Ifienne-led NHIS governing council for suspending Yusuf when it clearly had no constitutional powers to do so.

It said there was a crisis within the governing council of the scheme and this could negatively affect the smooth running of the agency.

The report partly read, “Dissolve the governing council. Justification: The panel observed the role of the governing council in the present imbroglio and noted from the interactions that the council has become factionalised and is incapable of providing the required leadership for the scheme.

“The governing council embarrassed the government by exceeding its mandate when it suspended the executive secretary.”

The committee subsequently advised the Federal Government to appoint an interim management team to avoid a vacuum and ensure the smooth running of the scheme.

It said the proposed committee would have a six-month lifespan and should be led by a seasoned administrator with a health system experience and other technical members drawn from the offices of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Bureau of Public Procurement and Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

The panel said the proposed committee would report to the Presidency during its tenure.

It called on the Federal Government to amend the Act establishing the NHIS to make health insurance compulsory for Nigerians even as it advised the government to ensure that “the NHIS is ICT driven.”

Investigations by The PUNCH showed that the committee report was submitted to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, on December 24, 2018.

However, President Muhammadu Buhari government has failed to take any action in almost five months, thereby worsening the ongoing crisis in the health sector.

The NHIS crisis began in early 2017 when it was alleged by members of staff and the organised labour that Yusuf was diverting public funds to private use.

He was said to have brought in 13 officers from other government agencies and gave them undue promotion.

The NHIS boss was subsequently suspended by the Minister of Health in July 2017 while a committee was set up to investigate Yusuf.

The committee accused Yusuf of fraud to the tune of N919m and recommended that anti-graft agencies investigate and prosecute him if need be.

However, Yusuf, who is said to be close to the cabal at the Presidency, was asked to return to his position, an action that triggered public outrage.

Months after his return, Yusuf again ran into trouble with the governing council of the NHIS for, amongst other things, paying consultants N508m without due process.

Recall that the Assistant Director of Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olusegun Adetola, in an interview with The PUNCH on April 17 named the just-concluded general elections as the reason the Federal Government had yet to make public the outcome of the probe initiated into an alleged fraud of N919m in the NHIS.

Adetola, in the interview, said, “As you are aware, the report has been submitted to the SGF and forwarded to the President. We had general elections that were completed only last week and that involved many government agencies.

“The report was submitted just before election activities began. This must have delayed the public presentation. I am sure that soon, it will be made public. It is not a forgotten document.”

The Punch

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Legit.ng Makes Top Five Facebook Publishers in March 2022

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Nigeria’s leading digital news media publisher, Legit.ng strengthens its hold as top digital media platform on Facebook with over 14 million engagement in March and a total article count of 4,264.

Ending Q1 on a big note, Legit.ng has once again been recognized by Newswhip in the top 5 Facebook Publishers in March 2022. The acclaimed Nigeria’s number 1 online news and entertainment Platform, Legit.ng overthrew American publisher CNN from its formerly occupied 5th place , with 14,636,032 Facebook engagements and 4,264 Article counts.

Without doubt, this is proof to the news publisher’s readers and the media ecosystem in Nigeria that it continues to lead the way in the Nigerian media. The leading digital news platform comes next in line to globally acclaimed publishers like Dailywire, Dailymail, Mirror and BBC, in the Newship Analytics March ranking.

How media houses were assessed
The analysis was based on English-language content from publishers, and it is ranked based on Facebook likes, shares and comments to the web content and ranked by domain.

Leading the way through news
Legit.ng continues to lead the way as a recently published report shows that the no.1 online news website in Nigeria has one of the most engaging Facebook pages in Africa.

Share in our success and join our online community of readers Legit.ng (former Naij.com) is the largest online publisher in Nigeria (by Alexa rank). Every month 10m+ users reach 50m pageviews on our website.

Legit.ng also has an impressive social media presence with 11.4m Facebook followers on all pages, achieving an average post reach of 80,000. Every 4th Nigerian who is on Facebook is a Legit.ng page subscriber.

As the biggest news publisher in the country, Legit.ng has a responsibility to improve the lives of our readers in any way possible. That is why we pride ourselves in creating life-changing news that makes our readers more conscious about the world around them.

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Second Term: My Bid to Return Out of Commitment to Democratic Ideals – Demola Doherty

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Hon. Demola Doherty is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a House of Representatives aspirant in Ifako/Ijaiye Constituency, Lagos State. Addressing newsmen recently, Doherty highlighted his achievements as an Executive Chairman of Ifako Ijaiye Local Government and his desire for a second term.

“The administration in which I was the Executive Chairman remains a reference and legacy administration in Ifako-Ijaiye till date, the more reason the people yearn for my return as Chairman for 2nd term in office.

“The template for the infrastructural developments witnessed during our first term is still with us upon which successive governments have built their projects but we still have a lot to do to remove Ifako-Ijaiye from the sub-urban status.

“Classical examples of infrastructures visible on ground are drainages & road construction viz: Mojisola Str, Adekoya Str, Gospel Crusader, Abu Alfred, Aina Ajobo, Bola Ahmed Tinubu Rd. (Old Akute Road) et al.

“The health of the people was of utmost importance to us hence the concept of Ashabi Taiwo Maternity.

“My next term plan is to address strategic roads yet to be done, such as Oshola Str., Powerline, Ibari Str. and link Ogundimu to Olowo surbub. I also intend to team up with our Assembly member to accelerate construction of Abiola Onijemo bridge.

Health:

The health of the people was paramount to our being in govt hence the concept of New Ashabi Taiwo Maternity, upgrade of Ajilete PHC for 24hrs service.

Construction of New Ogundimu PHC; donation of 30 KVA Diesel Generator; Out Patient benches for Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital and financial support.

Education:

Three new buildings, consisting 36 classrooms were constructed in Ajuwon (Ward F), Ogundimu (Ward F) Fagba (Ward D) and Rmrehabilitation of Bishop Oluwole Primary School (Ward C1).

Desks, chairs & tables were provided for pupils and teachers, respectively.

Yearly bursary to tertiary institutions students were increased by 50% and paid regularly. Indigent students were annually assisted with free WAEC/GCE forms and extra-mural classes.

Bags, English Language workbooks, exercise books and writing materials were provided free to 8000 pupils & students of Ifako-Ijaiye as dividend of democracy.

My next term plan is to wholly support Hon. Tope Adewale our Assembly member, to increase the number of free JAMB forms beneficiaries to 100% and to provide additional support to tertiary students in our local govt area.

Market:

Ishaga market was expanded and rebuilt to accommodate more market women and men. My next term plan is to rebuild NRC Area Office as well as Obawole/Ndike/Powerline Market.

Political Class:

The political class witnessed remarkable cohesion with local govt support during our last outing but there is a great deal of room for improvement.

My next term plan is to restructure wealth creation and poverty alleviation in a way that items relevant to the specific needs of the people shall be given out to reduce poverty in the land and make them self-sustainable.

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Cleric Offers Scholarship to Underaged Victims of Sexual Abuse

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A popular Islamic cleric, philanthropist, business and Estate mogul, and founder, Sebilu Nnajat TV, Sheikh Hammed Olanrewaju Alfulaany, has offered scholarships to two sexually abused underaged girls, aged 14 and 16, who were sexually molested by their parents.

The victims, Ayomide Rachael Johnson, and Motunrayo Ogunsanwo, were allegedly sexually assaulted by their fathers in Meiran, and Epe respectively before they were rescued by Lady of Africa Foundation.

The organization reported the matter to the police and the fathers were arrested. The case is presently in court.

The Cleric was approached by the Founder and National Coordinator of the Foundation, Princess Oluwabukola Fasuyi, to assist the victims in furthering their education. Since their case became public knowledge, the victims had been under the care of the Foundation.

Upon hearing the plights of the victims, the business mogul offered to sponsor their education to University level and promised to take care of their feeding and daily expenses.

The elated Princess Bukola Fasuyi expressed gratitude to the cleric for coming to the aid of the victims, and urged other philanthropists to follow suit by coming to the assistance of the Foundation in providing succour to the needy.

Apart from the victims, the business mogul also offered scholarships to a 22year old Barakat Hassan and her 24-year old sister, Azeezat, who were abandoned by their mother for 22 years after she packed out of her matrimonial home.

Their situation became worst after the death of their father, as they had no one to take care of them.

Barakat lost her sight in the process, placing a heavy burden on her sister to fend for both of them.

Their plight was brought to the attention of the philanthropist who offered to foot the medical bill of Barakat running into millions of naira. She is presently receiving medical attention in one of the top hospitals in Lagos.

The two sisters have also been given accomodation by the philanthropist and are on the verge of enrolling in school.

While eulogising the philanthropic gesture of Sheikh Olanrewaju Hammed Alfulaany, Princess Oluwabukola Fasuyi said the philanthropist has demonstrated there should be no religious or ethnic biases towards helping the needy, adding such gestures should be emulated by every Nigerian.

She called on International community, government and well-to-do Nigerians to support Sheikh Olanrewaju Hammed Alfulaany in his philanthropic gesture as well as come to the aid of Lady of Africa Foundation in it’s quest to give back to the society.

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