By Samuel Ogidan and Gift Chapi Odekina
The House of Representatives has heard how the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, singlehandedly withdrew the sum of N10billion belonging to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Consequently, the House mandated its committees on Health Services, Finance and Anti-Corruption to investigate the matter.
The committees were given four weeks to report back to the House for further legislative action.
The resolve of the House to probe the withdrawal followed the adoption of a motion titled: “The need to investigate the illegal withdrawal of N10 billion from the ‘Insured Persons’ fund of the NHIS,” moved by Hon. Chike Okafor.
Okafor revealed that during oversight visit to NHIS, the Committee on Health Services discovered that N10 billion was withdrawn from the agency’s account in two instalments.
He said that the withdrawal was the handiwork of the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, according to investigation, adding that the committee discovered that the fund was withdrawn on the order of the minister, without input from the NHIS boss or any of the officials of the agency.
The lawmaker expressed concern why the CBN allowed such withdrawal, adding that it was not backed by the Act of the National Assembly.
“This money was withdrawn without an Act of parliament. The withdrawal was not contained in the Appropriation Act.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ought not to allow the withdrawal of the money. The money does not belong to the Federal Government. It is deductions from workers’ salary. It is wrong for anyone to withdraw from the NHIS money,” he insisted.