Uche Usim, Abuja
The Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris said that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has said that the agency, as a public institution must be subjected to all rules of engagement as far as public institution is concerned.
He said it must key into all financial policies with no exemptions and it wants to operate outside the rules, it must secure necessary approval.
Ahmed stated on Wednesday when the management of NHIS led by the Executive Secretary Prof. Mohammed Nasir Sambo paid an advocacy visit to the Treasury House.
Ahmed congratulated the Executive Secretary on his well-deserved appointment and wished him a successful tenure free of rancour and labour unrest.
According to him, the OAGF is the driver of a number of public finance initiatives for the government like the Treasury Single Account, TSA, Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), a platform for making payment and preparing budget as well as Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), a platform for paying salaries of Federal Government employees and other reform initiatives. He advised them to get enrolled into IPPIS soonest as it is the only platform to payroll Federal Government employees.
Furthermore, the AGF said that the OAGF equally services the economy in terms of making releases to the three tiers of Government, namely, Federal, State and Local Government and every other thing that revolves around resources.
The OAGF also pays local debt to contractors and other oversight duties to MDA’s including NHIS, the OAGF is the live wire of the economy because everything involves finances with appropriate approval.
“We will continue to play our role to give you releases as at when due.
“If there are issues beyond your comprehension, our doors are always open to resolve such issues”, he said.
AGF posited that their investment request should be made known; adding that accommodation in TSA is so robust by working side by side with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and as such discouraged them from investing in banks for now because of the bank rates.
He said the NHIS squabbles with Aso Savings and Loan Limited would have been averted if OAGF was carried along in the transactions. “Consequently, we need to populate your account department with Treasury officers, otherwise you will face the consequences of your action”.
The AGF promised to assist NHIS to get back their money from Aso Savings and Loans Limited, adding that the issues of merger will be looked at to confirm the truth.
He noted that the NHIS should be placed under IPPIS.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Prof. Mohammed Nasir Sambo said that NHIS is one of the most important versatile agencies providing support to the people in terms of health care.
“In every developmental agenda, global health is important. Hence, the NHIS is the organ given the responsibility to handle health care in Nigeria.
Sambo said that the Federal Government took a drastic decision to establish a presidential fact-finding team in other to improve the health sector; as well as a white paper which involved the Ministry of Health and Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to look into details of the financial situation of NHIS.
He said that one of the aims of NHIS is to achieve universal health coverage and also to ensure that the vote of NHIS is viable to capture the most vulnerable in the society.
He acknowledged stating that the government will not be able to finance the health institution of the masses alone.