By Samuel Ogidan
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday claimed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the cabal in the Presidency had turned the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) into their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and cashcow where funds are taken at their conveniences.
The opposition party revealed how the APC plots to loot N25 billion from the coffers of the NHIS, when the country is yet to recover from past revelations of an alleged withdrawal of N10billion.
In a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr.Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said that “Nigerians are still lamenting the N10 billion stolen earlier from the agencya��s savings in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the Presidencya��s cabal.
It said: “The APC and the Presidency have been bleeding the nation, the very idea of stealing funds meant to provide health lifeline to the already impoverished Nigerians is agonizing and shows that the ruling party has lost all scruples.
“Our nation is now faced with daily pillaging of our national patrimony by APC interests and a notorious cabal, which, operating under the cover and protection of the Buhari Presidency, has turned our revenue agencies, particularly the NHIS into cashcows to painfully milk funds for APCa��s ill-fated 2019 re-election bid.
“When we say that this Buhari administration is debauched, many do not realise to what extent. This administration is so brazen in stealing in the NHIS that the Presidency has to recall and reinstate the indicted Executive Secretary of the Scheme, Prof. Usman Yakubu, while he was still being quizzed by the EFCC for alleged corruption.”
The party said that the Presidency has betrayed its complicity in the NHIS racket, by refusing to speak out on allegations that it reinstated the suspended Executive Secretary to conceal the earlier looting and protect members of the cabal and has also refused to order any form of investigation in the exposed frauds.
“The magnitude of direct looting that is going on in revenue agencies, such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Federal Inland Revenue Services (TIRS), MDAs and even the TSA already infiltrated by Presidency cabal and APC interests, who hide under spurious investment portfolios, inflated concessions, allocations, jobs and other financial sleazes to siphon public funds are better imagined.
“In the last three years, the nation has witnessed unparalleled impunity to the extent that the President could even unilaterally make approval of releases of public funds without recourse to the legislative instrument of the appropriation.
“We also want to remind Nigerians that this administration has refused to take any step to investigate the alleged stealing of N9 trillion ($25billion) in NNPC through corrupt contracts, the alleged diverting of N1.1trillion worth of crude to service APC interests, the alleged stealing of N18 billion Internally Displaced Persons (IDPsa��) funds among other grafts.
“This Buhari-led APC administration is fast looting our nation into an economic desert and we urge Nigerians not to spare any thought in voting them out come 2019,” the PDP said.
By Samuel Ogidan