THE FIGHT FOR THE SOUL OF NHIS: WHO BLINKS FIRST ?
￼BY BONAVENTURE IGIEROBO OCTOBER 17, 2018
It is rather unfortunate that at this time in the history of this country when the government is fighting tooth and nail to pull the economy off the ground, create a conducive environment, provide good governance in all sectors for humanity to thrive; there exist a handful of people who have constituted themselves as clogs in the wheel of progress of health care support established by a government for its citizenry.
It is true that where ever elephants fight the grass suffers. Indeed Nigerians are the casualty of this war created by people who believe they should continue to have a field day as they have had over a decade since the establishment of The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
NHIS Executive Secretary Professor Usman Yusuf, obviously is not a quitter, and cannot be deterred by the cheap propaganda of these unscrupulous elements in our society. From doing all that is necessary to be done to bring sanity to the very laudable health care support system. Prof. Yusuf, came back to Nigeria full of enthusiasm as he indeed saw the invitation to come serve his country as a golden opportunity to take his father’s land to greater heights; like he has seen happen in Europe and America where he served; little did he know he was coming to meet a barricade erected by sleazes, pen thieves, corrupt politicians, disgruntled elements and unpatriotic vested interests who are hell bent on milking the public treasury dry without batting an eyelid.
However, like the popular maxim goes, if a man has not found anything worth dying for he is not deem fit to live, thus Prof. Yusuf since assuming office has been dogged up in the fight to upturn the corrupt status-quo at the NHIS, strangulating the hydra headed menace called corruption feeding fat on NHIS accounts and revitalising the NHIS to make it function properly, efficiently while been buoyant, and capable to carry out its Mandate of providing easy access to affordable Healthcare for all.
Unfortunately, the Executive Secretary (ES) stance to sanitize and rid the NHIS of backwardness and none performance is being sabotaged and resisted every step of the way by Agents of the corrupt. Sadly, from within and outside the Scheme.
The scheme signed in to law in 1999 almost two decades now, expected to provide affordable healthcare to all Nigerians, and give everyone affordable health care, reduce out of pocket spending or complete lack of access to health facility as the case is and a net of protection from huge bills associated with serious illnesses.
But several years after, the Scheme’s coverage performance of less than 2% of the populace is a huge embarrassment in-spite of the massive Federal Government’s contributions on behalf of its citizens.
Billions of Naira have gone down the drain without any obvious benefit to majority of Nigerians who still have to pay for critical services from their pockets and are not treated well in hospitals.
Prior to the appointment of Prof. Yusuf no one was talking about the massive corruption perpetrated by Health Management Organizations (HMOs), the middle men paid by the NHIS to pay hospitals on behalf of Enrolees and the government.
These HMOs were considered as untouchable sacred cows because they are owned by strong and powerful politicians that are well connected to the corridors of power. He was advised not to tread where angels fear not to tread, but to Prof. Yusuf if an angel becomes rebellious to overthrow a God as the devil did, then such an angel will be disgraced in toto.
Prof. Yusuf started the cleansing process by reaching out to all stakeholders including Anti-corruption and Security Agencies for help. He started cleaning the procurement, finance and ICT departments. He created a Department of Enforcement to go after defaulting HMOs. He started recovering NHIS funds from HMOs, Banks and Contractors at the time he came.
Interior Minister, police affairs counterpart visit Borno to review war against Boko Haram
Interior Minister police Affairs counterpart visit Borno to review war against Boko Haram
- we are against the scrap of FSARS – Borno Governor, NCSO, NLC, others
By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Rauf Aregbesola and his Police Affairs counterpart , Alhaji Mohammed Dangyadi were on Tuesday visited Maiduguri, the Borno state capital to discuss on how best to bring to an end Boko Haram insurgency and other internal securities challenges such as kidnapping, banditry and Armed Robbery.
Addressing newsmen after a closed door meeting with Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state, the minister of Police Affairs and other top security officers which held at the Government House, Maiduguri, the minister of Internal Affairs, Rauf Aregbesola said “we have met with critical stakeholders and had a robust discussion with Governor Zulum and others stakeholders. We agreed on resolutions. Our discussions is Frank and engaging. There is a renewed commitment to containing the insurgency”.
“As a matter of fact, We decided to coordinate these new engagements. Enough is enough, we are reviewing the entire process of engaging these criminals who are disturbing our people and spreading grief and misery. There is need for collaboration among all security agencies like military, police, paramilitary and other stakeholders who were involved in the fight against insurgency”, the minister added.
Alhaji Aregbesola said ” we agreed that from State government to the Federal government, we must improve funding of security agencies. We must improve their logistic supports and encourage the people to give adequate support to the state forces that are involved in this exercise. I believe that there will be difference in approach to the fight against insurgency containment and that in no distance future, we will liberate more territories and allow our people to have economic activities that will allow normalcy “.
” I must say I am impressed with the level of development and civility we have in the capital city, I was here few years ago, Maiduguri was not as it is today, Maiduguri can compete favourably or even better than many cities in terms of serenity, calmness and prosperity so I commend Governor Zulum and those working with him for wonderful job they have done to bring peace”, Aregbesola added.
On the issue of Governor Zulum call against the disbandment of Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad ( FSARS), the minister for Police Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Dangyadi said ” the governor has made it very clear to us that they are in support of FSARS. We will listen to people to make good use of what they say. The federal government has also take a decision to review the structure of SARS, as it is now We are going to involve stakeholders on the way forward”
He further said ” with the Police Trust Fund, we are going to have better funding, better training, intelligence, logistics and welfare”.
Earlier during a courtesy call at the Government House, Maiduguri, Governor Zulum urged the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu ( IGP) to deploy abled SARS men to Borno to fight Boko Haram insurgency
The governor said in Borno state the SARS had made a mark by using their energy and aggression against Boko Haram.
“We are not in support of brutality by any security outfit, but to be sincere, here in Borno State the efforts of SARS operatives in the counter insurgency operations need not to be overemphasized. They are doing a wonderful job in containing the security situation in Borno State. They have greatly supplemented the efforts of the Nigerian Military.”, Governor Zulum stressed.
Also lending their voice, the Network for Civil Society, labour and students unions, as well as artisans in Borno have staged a prittest against the scrap of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) by police authority.
The demonstrators who walked through a major highway in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, to the Government House Tuesday morning to deliver a letter of their demands for the re-introduction of another FSARS, were seen with placards bearing “return SARS, We want FSARS, we need SARS, Reform FSARS,” among others.
Workers from organised labour unions, lawyers, market traders, students,women society groups, youth organizations and artisans were among the demonstrators.
State Chairman, Network of Civil Society Organisations (NCSO), Ahmed Shehu said the agitations for the scrap of FSARS in some parts of the country did not represent general position of all Nigerians, adding that on the contrary, FSARS was a blessing to the people of the state.
“FSARS may be bad to people in other regions of the country but to us in Borno, FSARS is good. We haveve seen how the squad has been tackling Boko Haram in complementary role with other security agencies. Their presence alone on our highways which are usually unsafe, give people courage to travel and not fear Boko Haram,”
Shehu said FSARS remains a formidable security outfit that put constant pressure on Boko Haram and even cleared the insurgents from blocking the highways in the state. He maintained Borno did not record the kind of abuses allegedly committed by the squad in other states.
He said the letter of demands brought to the state governor contained demand for the Federal Government to end Boko Haram and re-constitution of FSARS.
Also speaking, the Maiduguri Branch Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Bar Abba Ummate said the anti-FSARS agitators did not consider the peculiar security situation in each of the states in arriving at the calls for scrappibg FSARS. He described the ban on the squad as unfair to Borno people.
While receiving the letter on behalf of the Borno state Governor, Babagana Zulum, the State Deputy Governor, Hon. Umar Kadafur urged people to be law abiding.
“We urge you to be law abiding and keep praying for the peace of the state and our governor to succeeds in all developmental
engagement,” he said.
Labour suspends strike, as FG halts electricity hike for 2 weeks
Labour suspends strike, as FG halts electricity hike for 2 weeks
By Daily Hint Abuja
As a result of marathon meeting held and agreement reached between the federal government and the organised representatives of labour unions, the organised labour has suspended the nationwide strike action and protests billed to start today.
The meeting, which started at about 8:30 pm on Sunday and spilled over till Monday morning had Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo; Minister of State for Power, Godwin Jeddy-Agba and Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of the NNPC.
READ ALSO: Governors, labour meet to avert mass action
A communiqué, read by the minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, after the meeting, disclosed that government agreed to suspend electricity tariff hike for two weeks pending when a committee set up would examine the justifications for the new policy in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost-reflective tariff as a result of the conflicting information from the fields which appeared different from the data presented to justify the new policy by NERC.
He, however, noted that total deregulation in the downstream sector remains, adding that palliatives would be offered to Nigerian workers to cushion the effects of burden.
Baga ambush; ISWAP/Boko Haram Killed 8 Policemen, 3 CJTF Members Killed, 13 Others Injured
Baga ambush; ISWAP/Boko Haram killed 8 policemen, 3 CJTF members killed, 13 others injured.
By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri
Members of the Islamic State of West African Province ( ISWAP),/ Boko Haram terrorist have killed eight policemen, 3 soldiers 3,members of Civilian Joint Tasks Force (CJTF), while 13 others injured in an ambushed near Cross kauwa few kilometers away from the Famous Baga fish town.
The Borno state Police command while confirming the incident, in a statement issued by ithe commands Public Relations Officer (PPRO),, DSP Edet Okon said ‘On 25th September, 2020 at about 12PM, the security convoy who were heading to Baga in respect of Government’s effort to relocate indigenes of Baga to their ancestral home came under heavy gun attack by Armed Men suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists a few Kilometers from Cross Kauwa. The security convoy returned fire and successfully repelled the attack.”
The statement said ” in the ensuing gun fight however, casualties were recorded on both sides. Unfortunately, eight (8) Policemen and three (3) members of the Civilian Joint Task Force paid the supreme price. Thirteen (13) other persons sustained various degrees of injuries and were rushed to Hospital for treatment.”
The statement however, stated that the Commissioner of Police, Borno state Command CP Bello Makwashi assures members of the public that the Nigeria Police is determined to carry out its constitutional mandate of protecting lives and properties and will not relent in providing the needed security for the good citizens of Borno State at all times.
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