The newly appointed executive secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Mohammed Sambo, on Thursday October 3, 2019, pleaded with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to remit the stolen funds recovered for the institution but still in the custody of the Commission.
Sambo made the request when he led the management team of NHIS on a visit to the EFCC’s headquarters, Abuja.
“In the past years, the EFCC has helped in the recovery of funds for NHIS; we are also soliciting the Commission for the remittance of the institution’s funds still in custody of the Commission,” Sambo said.
Explaining why the Scheme needed the recovered funds, Sambo said, “We have beneficiaries of the NHIS down to remote villages and we need these funds in growing the organization .”
According to him, his plan is to restructure the organisation and position it to deliver the mandate for which it was established.
Sambo expressed regrets that power-play and corruption have stifled the growth of NHIS.
“In the 20-year history of this institution, it has been very difficult for an administration to complete two years in office due to the activities of cabals in the system. My aim is to restore transparency and accountability in the system,” he assured.
In his response, the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, expressed confidence in the new NHIS management, adding that the visit will foster stronger relationship with the EFCC.
The EFCC boss said the reason his agency has held on to the recovered funds, was the absence of guarantees for transparency and accountability. He therefore tasked the NHIS management to apply transparency and accountability in disbursing the recovered funds.
Magu tasked the NHIS boss to reorientate staff of the organization and do proper background check on the staff and Heath Management Organisations, to reduce fraudulent activities in the sector.
The EFCC boss also suggested an amendment of the NHIS enabling laws to give the agency powers to deal directly with health care providers as a means of overcoming current challenges in the scheme