The scheme, which has been enmeshed in corruption and leadership crisis in the last four years, has been without a substantive Executive Secretary, following the suspension of the last Chief Executive, Prof. Yusuf Usman.
Sambo, who was among the pioneer workers of the scheme, voluntarily transferred his service to the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, some 15 years ago.
He was appointed about two weeks ago for a five-year renewable term by President Muhammadu Buhari following recommendations for the sack of the former executive boss, Prof. Yusuf Usman by a presidential panel.
The new NHIS boss was introduced to the management and other workers at the Abuja headquarters by the overseeing Director, Mr. Ben Umogo, from the Office of Head of Service of the Federation (OHOSF).
Speaking after the handover ceremony, Sambo said he had packaged a Three-Points Agenda that he would soon unveil to the workers.
The new NHIS chief said result-oriented workers were welcome on board while those without ambitio and poor attitude to work will be sacked.
He promised to ensure that the scheme under his leadership implements the 10-Point recommendations of the Federal Government panel that probed alleged infraction against the immediate past Executive Secretary of the scheme.
Sambo assured the workers that he would operate with an open mind and with a listening ear.
Displaying his knowledge of happenings within the scheme, the NHIS executive secretary pledged to tackle the challenges from the root with the support of the workers.
He said: “I am highly delighted to be the first Executive Secretary that possess NHIS staff file number. (This drew a large cheers and clapping from the workers). I, therefore, regard this appointment as not only home-coming but a very critical stage in the evolution of the NHIS.”
“Within the last few decades, a lot of water has passed under the bridge with the passage of developing of this very important heritage, which has tremendous capacity to change the landscape of the health system in Nigeria.”
“However, this dream has been hampered by numerous unresolved problems and challenges, hence making the attainment of scheme a mirage.”