The authorities of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) disbursed N32 million in monetary support to people not enrolled on the scheme in contravention of its statutory duty, SaharaReporters has learnt.
According to the federal government’s audit report obtained by SaharaReporters, the NHIS made the disbursement of N32,299,700 to individuals exterior the scheme in 2018, then underneath the administration of embattled Executive Secretary, Prof Usman Yusuf.
The Annual Report of the Auditor-General of the Federation for the Accounts of the Federation of Nigeria for the Year ended, December 31, 2018, additionally indicted Yusuf as awarding contracts price N66 million to staff as a substitute of competent contractors by means of public bidding.
The report mandated the Executive Secretary to recuperate the monies misspent and return them to the coffers of the Nigerian Government.
Yusuf, an Ahmadu Bello University professor, was appointed in August 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari however his tenure was marred by infractions and improper insurance policies on the scheme, first resulting in his suspension in 2018 and to his removing in October 2019.
Prof Mohammed Sambo is the present NHIS Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer.
The 2018 Audit report partly reads, “Irregular Payment of Financial Medical Assistance on Non-enrollees – N32,299,700; Audit observed that the sum of N32,299,700 was spent as “financial medical assistance” on people who haven’t been enrolled into the scheme (NHIS).
“Risk – The entity may be assisting the non-enrollees to the detriment of the enrollees. Also, the Entity may be jeopardising the purpose of the scheme as all citizens are expected to enrol on the scheme.
“This anomaly further exposes the weakness in the Scheme’s internal control system that has resulted in mismanagement of public funds. The Executive Secretary is required to recover and pay the sum of N32,299,700 into the NHIS Fund, failing of which sanctions should apply.”
Also, the report acknowledged that there was improper award of native procurement to members of workers underneath Yusuf.
“Audit observed that some members of staff were granted amounts above N200,000 only for procurement of goods and services totalling the sum of N66,798,948.12 only, instead of making the procurement through the award of contracts.
“The above anomaly is the failure of the Accounting Officer to adhere strictly to the procurement Act and other extant circulars. The Management should provide a detailed explanation for disbursing public funds directly to procure goods and services instead of through contract awards while accounting for the sum of N66,798,948.12 irregularly spent,” the report acknowledged.