The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, on Friday announced the suspension of the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf, for three months.
The Punch reports that one of the allegations against Yusuf was that he bought a sport utility vehicle for N58m.
In a statement signed by the Director of Media and Public Relations at the Ministry of Health, Mrs. Boade Akinola, the health minister said the suspension was due to a series of petitions written against Yusuf.
Ms. Akinola also said the suspension stemmed from the need to properly investigate allegations of financial impropriety against Mr. Yusuf.
He was directed to handover to Mr. Ibrahim who was the most senior general manager until Mr. Yusuf’s suspension.
The statement read in part, “The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has directed the Executive Secretary / Chief Executive Officer of National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, to proceed on three months suspension with immediate effect.
“According to the directive, the suspension was a result of various allegations and petitions against him. The minister also said he had directed the setting up of an investigative committee to look into the various allegations in accordance with the public service rules.
“The suspension became necessary to allow for an uninterrupted investigation. Prof. Usman Yusuf was, however, directed to hand over to the next most senior general manager in the agency.”
However, there are reports that the suspended Yusuf failed to formally hand over on Friday as he did not turn up at the office.
Other reports have it that the health minister’s order seems to already have been flouted as the suspended NHIS boss reportedly left the premises with two matted woven bags otherwise known as ‘Ghana must go’ bags with unknown contents.
Mr. Yusuf had denied being aware of his suspension from office, telling Premium Times on Thursday night that he remained the Executive Secretary.
“Who told you I have been suspended or that I did any sharp practices? The person should come forward with proofs,” Mr. Yusuf had queried when this newspaper reached him for comments about his suspension.