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Usman Yusuf, executive secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), says those who think they can stop his fight against corruption in the agency have failed.

In an interview with BBC Hausa, the NHIS executive secretary said he has been going through “unnecessary accusations of fraud” since he came on board at the NHIS.

Yusuf said he was only accused of corruption but not indicted and that the “powerful people” whom he stepped on their toes are the ones after him.

The executive secretary was suspended by the NHIS governing board last week over allegations of corruption and financial infractions.

While announcing Yusuf’s suspension on Thursday, Enantu Ifenna, chairman of the NHIS governing board, accused him of mismanaging the agency’s funds.

But Yusuf had said he was innocent of the allegations and also argued that his suspension was illegal.

“They’re doing that just to intimidate and stop me from doing my good work. They have failed, I will never succumb to their ploy, I think they have to change plan,” Yusuf told BBC Hausa.

“I told everyone when I came on board that the public funds in the commission belong to Nigerians, no one should tamper with that money, including myself.

“If I’m corrupt, EFCC and ICPC are currently recovering billions of naira from my whistleblowing in the commission and I have never been indicted by the anti-corruption agencies.

“My ordeal as the executive secretary of NHIS may be connected with NHIS agents who think that I stepped on their toes and you know these people are powerful and they are well established in the previous administration.

“Those NHIS agents, I told them to pay back their debts which has already run to billions of naira. After initial investigation, I learnt that so many abnormalities need to be corrected.”

Isaac Adewole, minister of health, has first suspended Yusuf – over similar allegations – last year but he was reinstated following the president’s intervention.

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