When Prof. Usman Yusuf was invited from the United States and appointed as the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in 2016, he must have congratulated himself as he saw it as an opportunity to serve his country.
The scheme is aimed at providing easy access to healthcare for all Nigerians at an affordable cost through various pre-payment systems. Established under the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, Cap N42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the NHIS had been struggling to realise its mandate and the Federal Government must have thought that Yusuf was the right man to put it on track.
An academic with industry experience in the United States from where the scheme was borrowed, is no doubt an asset for an organization that envisions progress that would make universal health coverage a reality in the country. But if the government took the right decision by giving him the appointment, Yusuf must by now be asking himself whether his decision to take the offer was well though-out.
Since he stepped into the office, there has been a stiff resistance to him and what he represents by some established interests within and outside the NHIS secretariat. A war of attrition was unleashed, and he looked like a soldier fighting a relentless army which employs conventional and guerrilla tactics. Read more