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Unions disagree with SGF, say NHIS Act empowers board to suspend Yusuf



Unions disagree with SGF, say NHIS Act empowers board to suspend Yusuf

Two labour unions have disagreed with the position of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr. Boss Mustapha that governing boards of parastatals and agencies do not have the power to discipline chief executive officers appointed by the president.

The unions, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) and the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) who have continued their protest against the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Professor Usman Yusuf, said the NHIS Act is different from that of other agencies, as it empowers the governing board to discipline the Executive Secretary.

The unions were reacting to the SGF’s statement, which was made in apparent reference to the crisis at the NHIS.

Briefing the media on Tuesday, Mr Abdulrazak Omomaji, the Chairman of ASCSN, said that the union was still awaiting government reaction to their demands over the allegations of maladministration by Yusuf.

According to him, the Act establishing the NHIS was unique that gives the governing council the powers to suspend the executive secretary.

“I want to clarify that the Act which establishes the NHIS is different from the other government parastatals which are guided by boards and directors.

“The governing council of the NHIS however acted within its jurisdiction, they are the chief security officer of the organisation and have the powers to discipline and suspend.

“Let it be clear that Council has not removed Prof. Usman Yusuf, but have asked him to step aside for investigations after which findings will be forwarded to the Minister of Health.

“Council is therefore in order, and we shall continue with the protest as we await government’s reaction,’’ the chairman said.

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It would be recalled that the SGF had said that ‘no governing board of a federal agency or parastatal has the power to remove the chief executive appointed by the President.

“The board may however articulate infractions, investigate wrong doing and make recommendations to government through the supervisory minister,” Mustapha said. Professor Yusuf was suspended indefinitely by the NHIS governing board to allow for a thorough investigation of allegations against him.

The board also said it got the approval of the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole to suspend Yusuf.

The embattled ES however resumed office with the aid of police men despite protests by staff of the agency.

However, Yusuf ignored the order and resumed normal duty.


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