A pressure group, United Youth Alliance Against Corruption (UYAAC), has written to some financial crime agencies over the alleged corruption presently being perpetrated at the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) under the leadership of Prof. Usman Yusuf.
In a press release made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, coordinator of the group, Solomon Agbo, alleged that the NHIS under Yusuf is bedeviled with fraud ranging from award of contracts without passing through due process to flouting of laid down procurement procedures.
According to the group, one of the frauds allegedly perpetuated by the secretary was the award of contract for training programme for staff of the scheme.
It was alleged that N860million was budgeted for training in the 2016 appropriation bill.
“Immediately the executive secretary resumed office he set in place machinery to award contract for training which were all devoid of laid down procedure,” Mr. Agbo stated.
He said the training were not targeted to improve the capacity of the staff but rather it done for profit reasons and contract splitting to enable proxy contractors make gains.
“The contract for training was split into five with the spending for the jobs above the executive secretary approval limit.
Under the ICT training, the contractor, First Digital and Techno-Law Forensics Ltd spent over N400 million by contract splitting which is anti ethical to laid down procurement rules.
The group also raised eyebrow over a local training carried out by the NHIS where a course fee of N530,000 per staff for three days was approved but when the huge fraud was detected by some staff, the management had to cut it down to N270,000.
“Most of the trainings which were scheduled to hold across the 36 states could not hold while those that held were incomparable to the funds that were released for the training while there were obvious lack of training materials.
It was also noticed that multiple payment vouchers ranging from N19million,N18million and N21million where raised to cover up for the payment of N400 million for the training.
The executive secretary was also accused of paying N28 million to an IT firm, Promatrix Global, before the execution of the contract.
The petitioners brandishing documents to support their claims before journalists, also alleged that the management of the scheme has developed a culture of spending the schemes funds without prior approval of the supervising minister
“The executive secretary has severally awarded contracts above his 2.5million threshold which is against procurement act and most of the contracts were awarded to his brothers and cronies,” the group said.
The also disclosed that staff of the NHIS were helpless to the situation and despite a petition against the secretary not much has been achieved due to his closeness to the presidency.
The petitioner also alleged several dealings in the NHIS that needed thorough investigation by relevant.
When contacted by our correspondent, Prof Yusuf waved off the allegations summing it up as corruption fighting back.
“I am here to fight corruption, they can write all they like, it is corruption fighting back, the Katsina born Yusuf quipped back at the reporter’s enquiries.