Yusuf’s reinstatement: Police storm NHIS office to stop protest

About 50 policemen have been deployed to the National Health Insurance
Scheme headquarters in Abuja.

This heralded a pro and an anti-Yusuf rally staged simultaneously by
staff of the Scheme on Monday

DAILY POST learnt that the policemen were deployed to NHIS to avert a
possible clash by the two group of protesting workers.

The pro-Yusuf group, under the platform of Concerned NHIS staff led by
Mr. Uchenna Enwelike, expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu
Buhari for reinstating Yusuf and urged Nigerians to support him in the
provision of a focused and result oriented leadership to the Scheme.

He said: "We all know that Professor Usman has already brought to bear
his expertise and wealth of experience acquired over the years, home
and abroad, to address the lingering problems of the scheme.

"We must all therefore give him the necessary support he may require
to achieve this mandate for the benefit of all.

"The task of putting NHIS in the front burner of the Nigerian Health
System is enormous and realisation of its mandate is critical in
attainment of Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goal.

"As public servants, we are guided by ethics of the profession and
should not allow ourselves to be used by corrupt stakeholders who are
not comfortable with reforms going on in the scheme.

"The national unions of MHWUN and ASCSN should call the different
factions of their local chapters in NHIS to order.

"They should be advised to re-channel their energy in helping the
enrollees who are either poorly treated or denied access on regular
basis,"

Another member of the pro-Yusuf group, Mohammad Gajo, also lamented
the achievement poorly recorded in the scheme over 13 years of its
official launch.

His words: "It is saddening that in the past 13 years of the official
launch of NHIS formal sector programme, we are still battling with
single digit coverage.

"Today, healthcare providers are not paid promptly by the Health
Management Organisations (HMOs), enrolees are dissatisfied due to poor
quality of service.

"We are having low coverage of our population in the country when
compared with countries at par with Nigeria,'' he said.

"In this regard Usman was appointed by the President to sanitise the
system, this he has commenced in earnest and we must support him in
this laudable objective.'

However, the anti-Yusuf protesters under the aegis of Association of
Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, and Medical and Health
Workers Union of Nigeria, MHWUN, led by the branch Chairman of ASCSN,
Mr. Abdulrazaq Omomeji, maintained their call for the immediate sack
of the reinstated Executive Secretary in order to pave way for an
unbiased investigations into the allegations against him.

Omomeji contended that most members of the pro-Yusuf group were NHIS
staff employed and given undue promotion under the watch of the
reinstated Executive Secretary.

He also alleged that Yusuf had penciled down, for victimization, the
names of staff members who testified against him at the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent and Corruption
Practices Commission (ICPC).

Omomeji urged EFCC to continue its investigation on the finances of
the scheme for the benefit of enrollees and to strengthen healthcare
delivery in the country but challenged the ICPC to shun its hypocrisy
over Yusuf's case and publish its reports on the matter.

"Prof. Yusuf has concluded arrangements to transfer some of our
colleagues who testified against him at the EFCC and ICPC so as to
allow him free reign to distort facts and cover-up his mess.

"A few of our members who are staging a counter-protest to rally
support for him are mainly those he employed and gave undue promotion
in the NHIS. How can a lady born in 1984 be promoted to grade level 15
while some staff who graduated in 1984 are still in grade level 16?
This is the kind of impunity, ethnocentricism and nepotism,m as
supervised by Yusuf, we are kicking against as public servants," he
said.

DAILY POST recalls that Omomeji's group had on February 8 grounded
activities at the agency over what it described as "unfair
reinstatement of Yusuf" by president Muhammadu Buhari.

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