NHIS workers welcome reinstated boss

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Some workers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) have pledged ttheir support for the reinstated Executive Secretary, Professor Usman Yusuf, to reposition the scheme.

The workers staged a peaceful protest at the headquarters of NHIS in support of Yusuf under the aegis of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) and Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN).

Dr Uchenna Ewelike, a staff of NHIS confirmed this during the protest to welcome back Yusuf as the substantive executive secretary.

Ewelike expressed appreciation on the reinstatement of Yusuf by President Muhammadu Buhari, after confirming his innocence on all unsubstantiated allegations levelled against him.

He also urged Nigerians to support the reinstated chief executive officer to enable him provide a focused and result oriented leadership in the scheme.

“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,’’ he said.

He urged NHIS staff to discharge their normal duties without fear of intimidation and harassment by a faction of staff union.

Ewelike called on all security agencies to act within the law and deal with anybody or group of persons with intention of breaking the law or disrupting the peace within the work environment.

“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,” Ewelike said.

Mr Mohammad Gajo, another NHIS staff said, “Professor 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.’’

It would be recalled that on February 8, some members of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), and Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) had protested over the reinstatement of Yusuf as the substantive executive secretary of NHIS.

Mr Abdulrazak Omomaji, Chairman of ASCSN, demanded for a reversal of the reinstatement because Yusuf was under investigation by the EFCC and should not be allowed to hold any public office.

He pledged the support of the union to cooperate with EFCC to unravel alleged financial misdeeds rocking the scheme.

Omomaji 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.

Normalcy has returned in the premises of the agency while security agents were seen keeping vigil.