Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health turned down the invitation to appear before the House of Representatives.
Isaac Adewole was summoned because of the suspension of Usman Yusuf who is the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Adewole was ordered by The House Committee on Healthcare Services to reinstate Yusuf but the Minister refused – instead, he suspended three more top officials of the agency.
In a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Committee, John Okafor, the Minister said he was constrained not to honour the invitation based on two factors – his scheduled visit to Osun State, and his decision not to affect the outcome of the panel investigating Usman Yusuf.
He wrote, “Mr Chairman, may I inform you that the federal ministry of health with the approval of the acting president and head of service is currently conducting an administrative panel of enquiry on NHIS including the suspended executive secretary – Professor Usman Yusuf.
“I am expecting that in a couple of days, the committee should submit her report to my office. Secondly, I have committed myself to a national programme as part of the stakeholder’s meeting including the executive governor of Osun. The programme is being supported by the Engender Health and beneficiaries are expected from all over the country.
“In the light of the above, I wish to respectfully crave your indulgence to be excused from the meeting of 27th July 2017 to avoid making any statement that will affect the outcome of the committee and also attend the programme that I already planned. I promise to share and discuss the outcome of the administrative panel with you when I receive the final report.”
The NHIS boss, Yusuf, was suspended after series of corruption allegations against him.