Why we held on to NHIS recovered loots—EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has promised to return funds of the National Health Insurance Scheme which it recovered and kept in its custody “for safety purposes.”

The acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, gave the assurance during an advocacy visit of the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo at the Corporate Head Office of the commission.

The monies were allegedly trapped but recovered by the anti-graft agency from certain persons and institutions who had improper custody of the funds.

Acording to a statement issued on Saturday by the Head (Media and Public Relations) in NHIS, Ayo Osinlu, “Magu said the funds were retained in the safety of EFCC custody because the agency needed concrete assurance of due process, transparency and accountability in the further handling of the recovered funds”, the statement said.

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While pledging the readiness of the anti-graft organisation to always assist the NHIS, the EFCC boss advised the NHIS Chief Executive to intensify his ongoing value reorientation strategy to deepen the moral tone of staff and stakeholders.

He described the NHIS as a very helpful institution in healthcare financing, citing pleasant examples from his personal experience together with his family as enrolees of NHIS.

Earlier, Sambo had sought the assistance of EFCC in the release of funds it assisted the NHIS to recover from unlawful possessions.

He also thanked the commission for such recoveries in the past that had been remitted to the NHIS.

Sambo said, “The call for the release of the funds partly arose from the dwindling resources of the NHIS, even while recent rapid assessments of the new leadership indicated pressing need of funds for critical activities to grow the mandate of the NHIS

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“Part of our strategies for taking the NHIS to the next level include the professionalization of the operations of the organisation, strengthening the state offices to be able to effectively manage operations at that level since the bulk of the work is in the field space, and the firm application of the reward and sanction mechanism to regulate conduct of all players in the industry.”