The EFCC says it has recovered an additional N1.4 billion for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). According to a statement by the EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, Tuesday, the money is part of the funds which some commercial banks fraudulently refused to transfer to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) since 2015. Mr Uwujaren said the money was released to the agency on 5 August. NHIS was established in 2004 to provide social health insurance in Nigeria under an arrangement whereby health care services of contributors are paid from the common pool of funds contributed by the participants of the scheme.
In January, the agency partnered with the EFCC to improve digital transformation with regard to health insurance. Recall that on 10 February, the commission announced that it had remitted a tranche of N1.5 billion to the scheme in a similar manner. This, the commission said, was preceded by N1. 3 billion it also helped the NHIS to recover from the banks to the agency in September 2021.
‘NHIS’ N12 billion trapped’
NHIS had announced in August 2021 that over N12 billion belonging to it was trapped in the bank. The NHIS Executive Secretary, Muhammad Sambo, said this during a courtesy visit to EFCC chairperson, Abdulrasheed Bawa, on 29 July 2021, according to a statement by the EFCC. Mr Sambo said during the meeting that EFCC had helped the agency to recover N5.4 billion as of then.
“In total, the EFCC has been able to recover about N5.4billion for us out of the N12.085 billion that has been trapped; this is a monumental achievement and that is why we will ensure that we remain good partners to the EFCC,” he said.
Mr Sambo commended the EFCC for the recoveries and assured that every kobo recovered will be judiciously utilized. He also used the opportunity to update the EFCC on the reform efforts at the NHIS, which included the recruitment of health professionals to enhance the capacity of the Scheme to respond to the yearning of subscribers and other stakeholders in the sector. Responding, EFCC chair, Mr Bawa, who was represented by the Director of Operations, Abdulkarim Chukkol, reiterated the commission’s resolve to work with the NHIS in achieving universal health coverage.
“The EFCC has no choice but to work with you, to make you succeed. We will always see to it that the investigation that we are doing, we will continue with it; we are happy that it is yielding result and all the monies or funds that are recovered are being put to good use. So we will not relent in our efforts to see that each and every kobo that is lost is recovered for the benefit of the country,” he said.