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Presidency defends NHIS boss

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The Presidency on Tuesday hailed the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme , Prof . Usman Yusuf , for curbing corruption in the NHIS .
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity , Mallam Garba Shehu , said this on Tuesday during an interview on Sunrise Daily , a breakfast show on Channels Television .

Shehu said it was unfortunate that the NHIS crisis had assumed an ethnic and political dimension even as he knocked the Peoples Democratic Party for commenting on a matter it had no business with .

He said , “ I will tell you one thing . You know that whatever the mistakes this gentleman may have made, they have to be proved . He has launched a major reform in that institution which had blocked access to public resources .

“ Money from the NHIS is not money belonging to the government, it is money taken from your salary , from my salary . If we have been enlisted , we are supposed to get treatment when we fall ill . You should ask the question : In 13 years of the NHIS , how many Nigerians have received treatment ?

“ Yet , you have HMOs ( Health Management Organisations ) , these vendors , taking N 5 bn every month , money that is just being shared and somebody came and said , ‘ Look , this can ’ t go on ’ and with strong support from this administration , the N 5 bn has been reduced to N 1 . 3 bn .

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“ And even then , the administration is not satisfied . We want to see healthcare delivered to the citizens of this country . So , there is a lot of work to do . ”

On whether the council had the right to suspend the NHIS boss , Shehu said he could not say for sure but that many had said the council lacked such powers .

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