Workers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) have faulted the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) over his comment that boards of parastals and other government agencies have no power to suspend or remove Chief Executive Officers of their organizations.
It would be recalled that two days ago, the SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha, told the Governing Boards of Federal Parastatals, Universities and Medical Centres that they don’t have powers to suspend or remove a Chief Executive appointed by the President without due process.
Workers of the NHIS have been protesting since last weeks demanding the Executive Secretary (ES), Prof Usman Yusuf, to obey the suspension order given to him by the Governing Council since October 18.
They have, however, vowed to continue with the protest until they get a circular from the SGF telling them that the Governing Council does not have the right to suspend the ES.
Responding to questions from The AUTHORITY, Vice Chairman, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), NHIS Chapter, Theophilus Egwadah, insisted that the Governing Council of NHIS has the power to suspend and discipline to ES in accordance with the Act establishing the Scheme.
“Don’t the board have the power to question or discipline the CEOs? Then what is their role? Can President Buhari be everywhere? Even the SGF, does not he know everything?
“Besides, the SGF is not the Attorney General of the Federation, I think the interpretation of that aspect will be done in the court,” he said.
On his part, the Chairman, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria and NHIS Joint Union, Comrade Olawuyi Kayode, noted that that union will continue with the protest in the premises of the Scheme until they get a letter from the SGF.
“We are civil servants and we believe in procedure, until the SGF sent a letter to us through the Ministry of Health, we will not stop the protest,” he vowed.