Finance and Health Ministers Summoned over Missing 10 Billion Naira
Mar 01, 2018 National 8346 By Sharon Ayomide
Nigeria's finance minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and Prof. Isaac Adewole, the country's minister for health, have been summoned by the House of Representative committee on Healthcare Servcies chaired by Imo State APC House member Mr. Chike Okafor.
The pair, alongside Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele; the Minister of National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma;
the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris; and the Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze are being summoned over the N10bn deduction from the Treasury Single Account of the National Health Insurance Scheme.
The deductions, done in two portions of N5bn each in December 2016 and January 2018, became a public issue after it was labelled as "missing". Recently reinstated Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf was immediately summoned to shed light on what happened to the money in questions.
Yusuf, while speaking with the committee acknowledged that labeling the money as missing was wrong and misleading. He said that due to an inaccurate classification of the NHIS as a revenue-generating agency, the money was debited from the agency's account to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government, by the finance ministry and the AGF as operating surplus recorded against the NHIS under the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
He recalled going to the minister of finance to explain the inaccuracy of seeing the agency as a revenue generating one, after the Ministry has asked it to remit N8.8bn as operating surplus from 2012 to 2015.
"I went to the minister (finance) to explain that we are not a revenue-generating agency and that we didn't breach any Act, neither were we expected to remit operating surpluses.The money we keep is contributed by Nigerians and the government for their health services, as different from revenue," he told the committee.
The committee chairman and other members of the committee agreed on listening to the response from Adeosun, Adewole, Udo-Udoma, Emefiele, Idris and Akabueze on the issue before taking a decision.