Nigeria’s Health Minister, ex-NHIS boss fingered for N1.3b NHIS fund misappropriation —NAOMPON

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NAOMPON|20 May 2017 
Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewale and former acting Executive Secretary of the country’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr. Femi Akingbade are fingered over alleged corruption petition alleging their misappropriation of NHIS funds to the tone of 1.298,149,965 Naira, an equivalent of about 5m US dollar; and is currently being considered for probe by the country’s Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).In a petition (with evidence attached) by Concern Enrollees Network of Nigeria dated May 16, 2017 and acknowledged to have been received by the EFCC chairman’s office for immediate action on the same day, obtained by our correspondent on Thursday both Akingbade, while in office, at the instance of the Minister of Health was said to have siphoned N100, 000,000.00 to purchase two range rover jeeps; arranged N70, 272,063.00 for the Minister’s foreign trip.The ex-NHIS executive secretary, in addition is accused of purchasing five bedroom flats in Asokoro of Abuja for N400, 000,000.00 for the Minister; and expended N10, 000,000.00 on allowance on a shady committee they created for a single sitting.The former NHIS executive secretary is also fingered to have lavished a whooping N2, 400,000 to fuel a private jet from Abuja to Sokoto on March 9, 2016 for a national health meeting and also said to have tempered with numbers of those who enrolled in the NHIS inflating the figures and thereby diverting N1, 241,720,154.   Furthermore, the Minister is also accused of bribery of some NHIS staff union members to the tone of N2, 800,000 to cover up corruption and to wage petitions against Prof. Usman Yusuf, a senior staff of the health ministry said to be at the forefront revelations of the massive frauds in NHIS.The petition reads in part, “The former acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Akingbade paid 50% of fee for service to Health and Managed Care Association (HMCAN) in second quarters as arrears of fee for service from the year 2012 to 2015 with connivance to siphon NHIS funds. Also, HMCAN directed all their members to pay N9, 091,308.00,” which Akingbade diverted to himself.Also, the minister of health is accused of other reckless spending of NHIS funds and being silenced in prosecuting staff of NHIS found wanting of siphoning monies from the scheme’s scoffers.The Concern Enrollees Network of Nigeria, a group waging crusade against corruption in the country, however requested that the EFCC and ICPC the health minister, former acting executive secretary of NHIS and NHIS union leaders judiciously.  As at press time, all calls to Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman were not taken neither did he reply text messages sent to him for comments on the issue.NAOMPON is Niger Delta Association of Online Media Practioners of Nigeria