Padding scandal as NHIS governing council rejects budget

Padding scandal as NHIS governing council rejects budget

- The budget of National Health Insurance scheme has reportedly been rejected by the governing council

- Chairman of the governing council of the agency pointed out to six major anomalies which will make it illegal to sign

- It added that if the document is signed in current state, the scheme will be at risk of financial mismanagement

The governing council, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has reportedly rejected the 2018 budget of the agency over what anomalies in some presented figures.

Management of the agency had on August 6, presented an amended budget of the agency to the council chairman, Mrs Ifenne.

In rejecting the budget, the chairman in a memo dated August 20 to the executive secretary of the agency pointed out six major anomalies which she noted would make it “illegal and improper” for her to sign the budget as presented.

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She directed the management to rework the budget to correct the anomalies.

The chairman said she observed suspicious duplication of expenditure items totalling about N265 million, gross deficit budget without justification of source/mechanism for funding, and failure to reflect in the budget N64 billion appropriated by the federal government, Premium Times reports.

“It appears the authors attempted to conceal the duplications by altering the description of the expenditure items. This “padding” of the budget exposes the scheme to the risk of losing about N264, 900,000.00,” she noted.

“You may recall that through four intense budget review meetings, council reduced the budget deficit from 66% to 48.89% and finally to 30.6% by rationalizing costs and, to the extent possible, exerting fiscal discipline in the agency.

“As it stands, the current budget submission proposes revenue/income of N44,919,911,789.97 and expenditure for the same period is N64,725,325,088.44, creating a budget deficit of N19,805,413,298.47; an unacceptably high deficit of 30.6%.

“We are concerned that contrary to standard practice, the budget summary fails to address how and when the deficit would be financed. This exposes the Scheme to the risk of financial mismanagement. If the document is signed in current state, it could be misconstrued as a conspiracy to defraud the Scheme.”

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NAIJ.com had reported that the embattled executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf, was linked to a fresh fund controversy after he allegedly invested N25 billion 'idle funds of the NHIS against the minister of health's advice.

Yusuf, who was suspended by the minister of health, Isaac Adewole, in July 2017, following allegations of gross misconduct and reinstated by President Muhammadu Buhari in February 2018, is neck deep in fresh trouble.

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Source: Naija.ng

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