Prof Usman Yusuf: Buhari’s Emperor who is above the law
*Northern Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)
*Produced Assistant General Manager who is 23 years of age!
President Muhammadu Buhari having been accused of a systemic northernisation of key appointments in his administration may have been rightly accused if what one of his northern appointees, Prof Usman Yusuf, the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) who has changed the institution to the Northern Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). By the conducts of what he has been doing in the institution, if taken as a basis for measure, then, the accusation may be true.
Yusuf, has by the investigations conducted by www.gongnews.net been shown to have no respect for the laws establishing the institution he heads nor for the laws of the land. He is simply put, above the law. He takes no orders or instructions from the supervising Ministry of Health. He recruited 15 staffers all of them from the north of the country without recourse to the laws and provisions on federal character.
Prof Yusuf’s 15 special staffers were “seconded” in November 2016 to the NHIS. Since it is secondment, the mathematical assumption is that, they are transferring service from somewhere. Whereas, on the Scheme’s record, their date of first appointment (from where they are coming) is the same as the date of current appointment! Rather, their date of first appointment is supposed to read when they started work where they are being seconded from.
Northernisation policy: Yusuf recruited 1 person from the north east, three from the north central and 11 from the north west where he incidentally come from. This is against the prescriptions of the Federal Character.
In order to cover for the inadequacies of his newly recruited personnel, Yusuf had to change the nomenclature of the Scheme. A level 15 officer in NHIS is on the cadre of General Manager. He brought in four persons on that cadre. He referred to them as “Heads.”
By virtue of the fact that they are coming in from the mainstream civil service, they are ordinarily expected to report to the Scheme one level lower but the Executive Secretary decided what he wants to give his new team irrespective of what the rules says. He strategically placed his team in places he knows his “secrets would be adequately covered.”
Posted out senior staffers and replaced them with less competent northerners: Our sources in the organisation wonder if the entire persons posted out to make way for his northern appointees are not competent. Does the recruitment of the 15 persons mean also that there are no competent persons from other sections of the country like the south west, south east and south south regions.
For instance, in three departments where GMs were recruited, they had substantive GMs with requisite qualifications. Yusuf did his own recruitment without respect for the appropriate provisions of the Act establishing the NHIS and the letters of the public service rules. He posted out the GMs to the zones and replaced them outright.
On whose authority and approval did he conduct the said recruitment? 14 of the 15 appointments he made are beyond the powers of his office. A double check revealed that the man shunned all the established rules and decides exactly what he wants the way he wants it.
At no time did the Senior Staff establishment committee of the scheme meet to declare vacancies that were purportedly filled. These appointments CANNOT be made outside a meeting of the Executive Management committee which Yusuf never sought.
Mysterious application of favouritism: In the course of our investigation, we stumbled on a mouth gaping fact, one of the persons he helped was born in 1984. She was seconded or appointed on the rank of Assistant General Manager (Assistant Director).
She is 23 years of age. She would have attended primary school for six years, secondary school for another six years making 12. Assuming she entered the University same year and spent four years, she would have graduated at 16 years. With NYSC, she must be 17. Assuming she got employed same year, it took her only six years in service to have become an Assistant General Manager! This certainly is a Guinness Book record.
To exhibit his superiority by virtue of his closeness to the President, the Executive Secretary does not take instructions or policy directions from the supervising Health Ministry. For instance, the recruitment of the 15 folks is a ‘suspected rumour’ in the Ministry. They are not aware ‘officially’ and our source added, “it is possible. The man is a personal friend of the President, he is simply untouchable.”
Dictator extra ordinary: Signatures that the man President Muhammadu Buhari appointed as the Executive Secretary of the National Health insurance Scheme (NHIS) is a diktat are becoming obvious by the day. Apart from the northernisation policy of recruitment he brought to play without recourse to constituted authorities that are statutory which he is mandated to work with, he, in like manner, has incurred the wrath of the Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria (HMCAN), a critical arm of the institution in the delivery of its responsibilities.
The Association has written him a petition to withdraw some arbitrary decisions he took which contravenes the laws setting up the institution lest he is dragged to court. He has also, as expected, behaved as if the petition never existed. He did not react to their threats.
One of the parties to the petition told www.gongnews.net we have not seen this kind of man since this process started. He does not even behave like a Professor. He is law unto himself. Whatever he says is what he wants to be swallowed hook, line and sinker without complaint. He is just turning every work direction in the NHIS upside down.
For 12 long weeks, attempts to make the Emperor of NHIS, Prof Usman Yusuf to speak to us won’t work. Repeated visits to his Jabi office became a routine in expected jeopardy. A staff in his office who demanded why we want to see their boss referred this newspaper to speak to the Head of Media, an appointee and beneficiary of the warped recruitment, which we rejected.