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Buhari suspends, orders probe of NHIS boss

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, in Abuja ordered Prof. Usman Yusuf, the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), to immediately proceed on administrative leave.

Buhari gave the order in a statement signed by Mr Olusegun Adekunle, Permanent Secretary, General Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).

He further directed that Mr. Ben Omogo, Director, Administration Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), should oversee the affairs of the scheme.

He said that the leave was to ensure unfettered investigation by the Independent Fact-Finding Panel to be inaugurated on Friday.

The panel, to be headed by Dr. Hassan Bukar, has Mrs Jummai Idakwo, OSGF as the Secretary.

Members are Dr. Emmanuel Meribole​​​, Director, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Adewale Owolo​​​​, Director, Audit, Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAGF), Mr. Shamsuddeen Bello, ​​​Deputy Director, Expenditure, OAGF.

Other members are Mr Ishaq Yahaya​​​​, Director, Certification & Compliance, Bureau of Public Procurement, and Dr Ekanem John Udoh, Director, Science, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.

One of the terms of reference (TOR) of the panel are to investigate the alleged infractions listed by the NHIS Governing Council in its letter dated Oct. 18, 2018 and determine the extent of culpability or otherwise of the Executive Secretary with regards to the allegations.

It is mandated to make appropriate recommendations based on the findings from TOR I, identify, investigate and make recommendations with regards to issues that led to the unhealthy relationship between the board and the Chief Executive Officer.

The panel is further to Investigate and make recommendations on the extent of the involvement of staff Unions’ within the institution as to the current impasse between the Governing Board and Executive Secretary and to examine all governance challenges in the NHIS and make appropriate recommendations.

The president directed that with the establishment of this panel which has two weeks to report its findings, the earlier body set up by the Governing Council stood dissolved.

He added that the government recognised the importance of the scheme as a strong mechanism for the delivery of public healthcare and reassured Nigerians of the determination of the government determination to place high premium on public interest.

​The president said that the Federal Government had found it necessary to restate that the objectives for he establishing Parastatals was in fulfillment of the need to deliver services to Nigerians faster and better.

He added that government had also considered it necessary to restate that the roles of Governing Boards and Councils were as prescribed by the statutes, guidelines and extant circulars.

He added that the position of chief executives of Parastatals was to ensure that policies of government as enunciated by boards and councils were implemented in accordance with their mandate.

“Government, has however, observed with deep concern, the growing tension between boards and chief executives and their attendant implications for governance.

“For the avoidance of doubt, government will neither tolerate acts of indiscipline from any appointee nor will it harbour any acts of corruption.

“Government will, however, ensure that due process is followed strictly in trying to maintain discipline and probity in public service,” the president said.

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Oluwo of Iwo fumes over 6 months’ suspension

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Oluwo of Iwo fumes over 6 months' suspension

Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, who is the traditional ruler of Iwo kingdom in Osun state, has denied that he was suspended for six months by the state’s traditional rulers’ council.

The Witness had reported earlier that the traditional ruler of Iwo kingdom in Osun state was suspended for claims of dragging the council’s name into disrepute.

It was gathered that the state council at its emergency meeting held at the Finance Building at the State Secretariat on Friday, February 21, banned the Oluwo from attending its meetings and also constituted a committee headed by Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Adedotun to further investigate the matter.

Oba Wahab Adedotun, the Orangun of Ila, in his address to reporters after the meeting, said the decision was not taken as a result of the alleged fight between the Oluwo and Agbowu but due to his conduct to other traditional rulers in Yorubaland, including the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Alake of Egbaland and the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

The Oluwo was alleged to have punched a fellow monarch, the Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa, Oba Dhikurulahi Akinropo during a peace meeting at the instance of the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone XI, Bashir Makama at his office in the state on the dispute between the monarch and members of Iwo traditional rulers council.

Reacting to the report of his suspension, the Oluwo said it is unprofessional of the respected Osun State traditional council meeting to make such pronouncement without the approval of the state government.

Oba Akanbi said the argument for the suspension was out of context, saying the reason the emergency meeting was summoned by the council was not addressed and that he was surprised to note that his purported suspension for his conduct against certain traditional rulers is strange to the traditional institution book of history and will never stand.

The statement reads as thus; “I was never suspended. The suspension reported by the media is just from the monthly Osun State Traditional Council meeting which is subject to the approval of the state government.

“It is sad to note that Osun State traditional council could be so political. They said I was rude to Alake, Ooni and Alaafin. And the same Ooni presided over the same meeting that purportedly pronounced my suspension from the Osun State traditional council meeting.

“If this should stand, many monarchs will not be encouraged to regard the council. It is just an audio pronouncement and an insult to the state government without consultation by the council

“We were invited to address the allegation that I punched another Oba. The AIG and the government officials presence came to the meeting as witnesses and gave account that I didn’t beat any Oba.

“Maybe because the truth from the witnesses didn’t go with their expectation, they hatched unfounded excuse to make an audio suspension”

“It is pure political and there are many things attached but we keep mute to see how far this will stand,” the statement added.

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Oluwo of Iwo suspended for 6 months

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Oluwo of Iwo fumes over 6 months' suspension

Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, who is the traditional ruler of Iwo kingdom in Osun state, has been suspended for six months by the state’s traditional rulers’ council.

The Witness reports that the traditional ruler of Iwo kingdom in Osun state was suspended for claims of dragging the council’s name into disrepute.

It was gathered that the state council at its emergency meeting held at the Finance Building at the State Secretariat on Friday, February 21, banned the Oluwo from attending its meetings and also constituted a committee headed by Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Adedotun to further investigate the matter.

Oba Wahab Adedotun, the Orangun of Ila, in his address to reporters after the meeting, said the decision was not taken as a result of the alleged fight between the Oluwo and Agbowu but due to his conduct to other traditional rulers in Yorubaland, including the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Alake of Egbaland and the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

The Oluwo was alleged to have punched a fellow monarch, the Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa, Oba Dhikurulahi Akinropo during a peace meeting at the instance of the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone XI, Bashir Makama at his office in the state on the dispute between the monarch and members of Iwo traditional rulers council.

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Lagos govt, NTDC partner to strengthen tourism

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf has said that the state government was prepared to collaborate with the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) to strengthen tourism in the state and in Nigeria.

Speaking during a visit to the Director-General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker aka Folly Coker in Abuja on Wednesday, Akinbile-Yusuf said that her ministry would take advantage of the unique opportunity provided by NTDC to reach out to major tourism stakeholders in Africa.

“This collaboration will provide us with the opportunity to further market Lagos as a must-visit destination in Africa and the world.

“Lagos State is prepared to collaborate with NTDC in areas that will give recognition to creative arts and tourism development.

“Lagos is a preferred destination for business, leisure and entertainment,’’ she said.

Reacting, Mr Folorunsho Coker called on state governments to collaborate with Federal Government in the joint efforts to boost tourism in their localities.

He said that the visit was necessitated by the need for states to collaborate with the Federal Government to effectively tap into tourism potential in their localities.

The Director General urged other states in the federation to emulate Lagos in its rapprochement towards the Federal Government for mutual benefits of both levels of government.

“When the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government come together on a project, success is guaranteed. It is like saying when both parties clap, the whole of Africa will hear.

“Tourism has huge revenue generating potential and it is good for government at all levels to come together and tap optimum benefits of these potential,’’ Coker said.

He urged other states in the federation to emulate Lagos State by mapping out collaborative strategies with the federal government to develop tourism and other sectors of the economy.

Akinbile-Yusuf was accompanied on the visit by Mr Babatubnde Olaide-Mesewaku, Permanent Secretary, Lagos Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and other top officials of the ministry.

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