By Hassan Zaggi
The Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU) has lambasted the Association of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) accusing it of only seeing “events in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) with a prism of bias and unrepentant approach irrespective of the current high impact reform going on in NHIS.”
The Union also described as baseless and unfounded all allegations the ASCSN recently leveled against the Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Prof. Yusuf Usman and called on Nigerians and the entire workers of the Scheme to disregard same.
In a statement by the NCSU NHIS Chapter, signed by its chairman, Comrade Mohammed Gajo and Secretary, Comrade Innocent Abba, the Union said: “The current media war against the Executive Secretary is not unrelated with the most recent recovery of 1.2 billion naira from 58 Health Maintenance Orgnisations (HMOs) and N103 million also recovered in March, 2018.
“Regrettably, ASCSN has failed to inform Nigerians that these funds are currently in NHIS accounts with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as at today. This feat, which hitherto proved undoable due to high level collaboration with stakeholders should be celebrated rather than condemned or suppressed.”
While debunking the allegation that the Governing Council of the NHIS issued a query to the Executive Secretary over the financial indiscipline, the Civil Service Union said: “The Governing Council which the Executive Secretary is a member and the Secretary is working in tandem to deliver the mandate of the Scheme which is to provide financial risk protection of Nigerians.
“This Council has never made any official statement of any wrong doing by the Executive Secretary.
“It is therefore worrisome and unpatriotic that ASCSN will always run to the press to tell lies whenever they don’t get what they want.”
Commenting on the allegation that the ES is having many police officers attached to him, the Union said: “The accusation that the Executive Secretary is having 7 police officers are baseless as it will be a suicidal for a man fighting against wealthy establishment and making recoveries running into billions of naira not to have a well fortified security.
“As a union, we commend the efforts and magnanimity of the management on the recent posting, which had square pegs in square holes.
“It is evident that though the right to post staff is exclusively that of the ES/CEO, some of the staff posted out of the headquarters were given higher responsibilities with all of the full rights and privileges.
“We, therefore, appeal to staff and Nigerians to disregard this mischief makers hiding under the umbrella of unionism and to remain committed and hopeful in the Scheme’s drive towards Universal Health Coverage.”
It would be recalled that few days ago, the ASCSN at a media briefing accused the NHIS Executive Secretary of financial indiscipline and called on the Federal Government to order him to step aside.