Members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Healthcare Services yesterday threatened to prosecute erring official of the Health Management Organisations (HMOs) over alleged misappropriation of N350 billion.
Nigerians contributed the fund toward the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).At an investigative hearing in Abuja, Chairman of the Committee, Chike Okafor, directed NHIS to halt the payment of allocation to all the HMOs, pending the conclusion of the investigative hearing scheduled for next month.
Okafor promised to conduct the public hearing on a national television, stressing, “The activities of the HMOs are another fuel subsidy scam.” The committee stressed the need for the actualisation of universal health coverage for all Nigerians, particularly children, women, vulnerable groups and the unemployed across the country.
NHIS Executive Secretary, Mahmud Yusuf admitted that the agency had failed to discharge its statutory responsibility, adding that only four per cent of Nigerians are presently covered by the scheme, as against 60 per cent neighbouring countries.
He, however, solicited the assistance of the committee towards ensuring adequate budgetary provision to the tune of N32.886 billion in 2017, against the sum of N12 million approved in the 2016 Appropriation Act.
Meanwhile, the House yesterday summoned the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and Kano State Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Yusuf, to explain their parts in alleged harassment of members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano and similar cases in Rivers and Abuja.
Also yesterday, it mandated its committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management to liaise with the budget office to ascertain the debt owed to local contractors by the Federal Government.