Usman Yusuf, executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has expressed confidence that the new governing council of the scheme will offer a “fresh breath of air by dousing the tension in the system”.
There has been crisis at NHIS since the government of President Muhammadu Buhari reinstated Yusuf who was suspended by Isaac Adewole, minister of health.
Adewole suspended the executive secretary after a panel set up to probe some allegations of corruption levelled against Yusuf, indicted him.
Adewole has inaugurated a new governing council for the scheme.
Chaired by Enyantu Ifenne, a paediatrician, members of the council are Bassey Otu, a senator representing Cross River South at the national assembly; Lekan Ewenla, Joy Josiah, Samson Rufai and Nasir Adamu.
In a statement, Ayo Osinlu, spokesman of the NHIS, said Yusuf solicited the support and cooperation of the management and staff of the scheme for the council to facilitate constructive interventions and leadership.
After the inauguration, members of the council proceeded to the conference room for an interactive session with the management team, after which they met with a cross-section of staff of the agency.
While addressing the management of NHIS, the council chairman acknowledged that the council members were familiar with the enormous challenges facing the organisation, and pledged that they were committed to leading the process of resolving them.
She expressed concern that the primary purpose of the scheme, which is to make healthcare physically and financially available to all Nigerians, is becoming far-fetched.
The council chairman also regretted that the organisation had been consistent in the news in recent times for unflattering reasons, promising that she will take full advantage of the resourcefulness and vast exposure of the members of the council to address all thorny issues within the ambit of the laws setting up the scheme.
“As a mother, I appeal to all to drop the swords, relax the muscles, engage the minds and let’s get down to work”, she said.