Buhari swears-in 4 new Perm Secretaries

PRESIDENT Muhmmadu Buhari on Wednesday swore-in four newly appointed Permanent Secretaries of the Federal Civil Service.
The swearing-in ceremony took place just before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, virtual meeting, in the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The four new Permanent Secretaries, made up of three men and a lady, are completing the list of 16 persons appointed in June this year, among whom 12 persons had been sworn-in more than a month ago.
The new Permanent Secretaries are Mr. James Sule from Kaduna State; Mr Ismaila Abubakar from Kebbi State; Mrs Ibiene Patricia Roberts from Rivers State; and Mr Shehu Aliyu Shinkafi from Zamfara State.
Physically present for the FEC meeting after the swearing-in of the Permanent Secretaries are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; and the National Security Adviser, NSA, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd).
Four Ministers who are physically present are the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed; and the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr.  Clement Agba.
Other Ministers are expected to join from their various offices in Abuja, through video conference.
Leadway Assurance launches 50years anniversary logo

R- Managing Director/CEO, Leadway Assurance, Tunde Hassan-Odukale; Executive Director, Leadway Assurance, Ms. Adetola Adegbayi; Chief Executive Officer, Leadway Asset Management, David Alao, Managing Director/CEO, Leadway Pensure, Mrs. Aderonke Adedeji; Managing Director/CEO, Leadway Capital & Trusts, Ayodeji Wuraola, and Immediate past MD/CEO, Leadway Assurance and current Chairman, Leadway Holdings, Oye Hassan-Odukale at the official unveiling of the 50th Anniversary logo of Leadway Assurance Company Limited.

Kano State tops FG’s ₦75bn MSME Survival Fund application with 16,880 in 24hrs

Kano State has topped the list of application for Federal Government ₦75 billion National MSME Survival Fund with with 16,880 applicants within 24 hours.
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum at a media briefing on Thursday provide an update on the National MSME Survival Fund and the Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Schemes under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).
The Minister explained that the scheme is a cluster of grants intended to support vulnerable micro and small enterprises in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs within the MSME space from the shock of the Covid19 Pandemic.
“The program is to save over One Million, Seven Hundred Thousand (1,700,000) jobs,” she said.
Special focus will be given to 45 percent female owned MSME’s and 5 percent special needs owned MSME’s and give grants to self-employed individuals especially service providers like Bus drivers, Taxi drivers, ride share drivers and artisans such as electricians and plumbers.
She said the scheme will be implemented along the payroll support which targets 500,000 individual beneficiaries.
“The scheme will support MSME payroll obligations by paying between N50,000 (max) and N30,000 (min) to between 3 (min) and 10 (max) staff for 3 months. MSMEs in this category are required to have a minimum of 3 and maximum of 50 Staff on their payroll to qualify,” the Minister said.
She added that the Target Beneficiaries scheme will support MSMEs in the Hospitality industry, Private Schools, Factory owners, Law Firms, Hospitals among others.
There is also the General MSME Grant which will give N50,000 to 100,000 MSMEs.
She said portal open for applications on September 21, 2020 at 11:00pm and within the first 24 hours approximately 138,000 individuals had logged on, created profiles, and completed the first stage of registration with Kano, Kaduna, and Lagos as the lead states.
“All successful applicants received SMS and email verification with a list of requirements for the second stage of application which will commence on 1/10/2020. Applicants will be required to upload details supporting their applications which will be verified and if successful, approved for disbursements,” she said.
The following states recorded the highest number of applications in the first 24hrs of registration: Kano – 16,880, Kaduna – 11,438, Lagos – 10, 530, Katsina – 7,354 and Bauchi – 6,622 applicants.
She said that as at 8.30am Thursday morning, total successful registrations stood at 174,574 with the following states having the highest applications as follows: Kano: 19,895, Kaduna:13,575, Lagos: 13,640, Katsina: 8,383 and FCT: 8,085
Registration for other tracks will start as follows: Hospitality industry 25/09/2020 – 10:00AM, Payroll Support (others) 28/09/2020 – 10:00AM, and Artisan/Transport Grants 1/10/2020.
She sad “Some states and local governments that have low access to network connectivity and internet services are experiencing delays with registration. However, we also have feedback that State Governments and trade associations are putting in place innovative strategies to deal with the situation.
“Focal Persons of these states (and all other states) are encouraged to continue with their sensitization efforts; all states need to be equally represented in the Scheme.
“The PDO has received reports of some attempted cyber-attacks on the application website. We would like to assure the public that the application system is secure with multiple levels of encryption and any information loaded on the official application page is safe from cyber-attacks of any kind.
“We would however like to draw the attention of the public to attempts by scammers and other undesirable elements to swindle innocent Nigerians with promises of assured disbursements for a fee.
“The Survival Fund will not at any time or for any reason request payment or facilitation fees to access the Grants.
The public is encouraged to report any such nefarious activities to the nearest security agents and follow up with a report to the PDO via the mediums provided on the website.”
PFAs register 2,839 contributors in three months

Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) have registered a total of 2,839 contributors under the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) in the second quarter of 2020, the National Pension Commission (PenCom), has said.

The pension industry regulator stated this in its second quarter 2020 report, adding that MPP subscribers contributed N7,402,305.04 which had been remitted to their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) as pension contributions.

According to PenCom, cumulatively, a total of 51,974 informal sector workers had registered for the MPP and contributed the sum of N42.1 million as at 30 June 2020.
PenCom noted that during the quarter, six participants converted from MPP to the mandatory CPS sequel to their employment in the formal sector, stressing that this brought the total number of MPP participants who had converted to the mandatory CPS to 18 as at 30th June 2020.

PenCom noted that over N32.32 million of micro pension contributions have been invested as at June 2020.

The Commission said it had maintained its effort to enlighten and educate informal sector workers of the enormous advantages of the micro pension plan.

It noted that during the third quarter 2019, it produced the translated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the MPP into three major Nigerian languages and Pidgin English for easy understanding for the MPP participants.

PenCom said the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 expanded coverage of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) to the self-employed and persons working in organizations with less than three employees, adding that this category of workers constitute the larger segment of working population in the country.

“In order to achieve the Pension Industry’s strategic objective of covering 30 percent of the working population in Nigeria under the CPS by the end of 2024, the Micro Pension Plan is being given impetus as an initiative that would ensure the coverage of this important segment of the Nigerian economy. Sequel to the formal launch of the Micro Pension plan by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari in March, 2019, the registration of contributors has commenced the under the Plan,” it said.

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AIICO promises to continue Deepening Insurance Penetration with NAIPCO. * NAIPCO Executives visit the company

L- General Secretary of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents, Zaka Khaliq; Head of Retail Life Operations, AIICO Insurance Plc, Titilola Okunlola; Divisional Head, Shared Services, Olusanjo Shodimu; Chairman, Chuks Udo Okonta; Head, Strategic Marketing & Communications Department, Segun Olalandu; Public Relation Officer, Amaka Obiefuna; Assistant General Secretary, Rosemary Onuoheysrya and Financial Secretary, Matthew Otoijaghea at the event.
AIICO Insurance Plc has promised to continue to pursue its commitment to deepen insurance penetration, education and awareness in the country.

Making the pledge during a breakfast meeting with the new executives of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) in Ikeja, Lagos, at the weekend, the Divisional Head, Shared Services, Mr. Olusanjo Shodimu, said the Insurance company is poised has always been at the fore-front of insurance awareness to ensure rapid growth in the sale of insurance policies, promising to continue to work with NAIPCO to propagate the message of insurance.

Shodimu, who represented the managing director/CEO, Mr. Babatunde Fajemirokun, said operators in the insurance industry have stepped up their claims paying ability, adding that, hundreds of billions of naira were paid as claims on an annual basis in the last few years, with AIICO being one of the leading underwriters in the area of prompt claims payment.

Speaking on recapitalisation plan of AIICO Insurance Plc, he said, the company, known for its integrity, had previously had International Finance Corporation (IFC) as its investors and now, Leapfrog Investment as its major investor, stating that, the insurer is in the right financial situation to recapitalise before the staggered recapitalisation deadlines of December, 2020 and September, 2021 respectively.

LeapFrog Nigeria Insurance Holdings Limited, he said, had previously  acquired 28.24 per cent stake in the company, while AIICO Bahamas Nigeria Limited now holds 10.59 per cent stake in the insurer, a development that see its capital rose from N6.1 billion to N11.3 billion currently.

Similarly, he said, the insurer has launched its N3.5 billion rights issue, which opened on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 and will run through to Wednesday, October 7, 2020, urging shareholders to subscribe to the offers.

He equally promised that AIICO, known for its efficient service delivery, will continue to improve through adoption of the right Information Technology (IT) to give customers the best insurance experience.

Similarly, the Head, Strategic Marketing & Communications Department, AIICO, Mr. Segun Olalandu, promised that the company will sustain its drives in the area of information dissemination to its investing public, through publicising its claims, improves publicity on its products and services as well as its Corporate Social Responsibility( CSR), to continue to give back to the society.

AIICO, he said, cannot do this alone, without the support of insurance correspondents as a worthy partner, pledging to always support NAIPCO whenever its service is needed.

Earlier, the new president, NAIPCO, Mr. Chuks Udo Okonta, applauded the insurer for the support they extended to the association in the past, urging the company not to relent, but build on what they have done for NAIPCO by supporting the projects of the current administration.

Okonta, who is also the Publisher, Inspenonline Media, an online platform, said, the theme of his administration is developmental journalism, stating that, this was the reason the new executives had earlier organised a training where the new Excos were trained on the task ahead.

He stressed that such training would be extended to the members too, disclosing that  Thursday, 22nd of October, 2020 has been chosen for the 2020 NAIPCO Training, hence, soliciting the support of AIICO to sponsor the training.

To him, “we want to train ourselves on data analysis and interpretation, such that, insurance journalists can pick up an annual report, analyse the figure therein to better inform the insuring public and shareholders.

“We will also be having trainings on developmental feature writing; research based reporting and human angle reporting.
“Though, insurance Correspondents are currently doing well, but there is always the need to train and retrain to better equip ourselves for the task ahead. So, I can tell you that you will get returns on investment if AIICO can sponsor the training.”

Other projects of the current administration, he mentioned are; 2020 NAIPCO Annual Conference scheduled to hold on the 4th of November 2020, the 6th edition of NAIPCO Journal-The Trumpet, Product, Management and Claims Profiling, among others

Africa Re makes way for donation to fight covid-19

The African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) recorded almost 6% growth in gross written premium last year at $845m and recorded a combined ratio of 96.1%, better than the average of 100.3% recorded by global reinsurers.

Chairman of the board of directors and the general assembly, Hassan Boubrik, said: “Africa Re recorded an impressive improvement in all performance metrics. Our gross written premium grew by almost 6% to $845m and underwriting performance improved by 26% to $26m.

“In line with the recovery of the global financial markets in 2019, investment income reached an all-time high of $66m, representing 165.7% growth compared to the previous year. Average return on investment stood at 5.26%.”

He added that, overall, the corporation achieved a 219.5% increase in net profit to reach $99.1m. “This excellent performance resulted in a 6.3% improvement in the shareholders’ funds, which now amounts to $975m. At the same time, a dividend of $8.80 per share is distributed, slightly higher than $8 per share paid last year,” said Mr Boubrik.

The shareholders have approved $49,952,000 going into the general reserve in accordance with Resolution No 4/1992 of the general assembly, which stipulates that 50% of the net profit after tax of each year is set aside as general reserve.

Some $800,000 is to be transferred to the reserve for loss fluctuation in accordance with the decision taken by the board during its 57th session, to set aside an amount over and above the outstanding claims provision, to moderate the effects of possible fluctuation in losses in future.

The board has also approved $1,998,080, representing 2% of the net profit, to be transferred to the Africa Re Foundation. The increased proportion of the net profit allocated to the Africa Re Foundation for 2020 will enable the corporation to significantly enhance its contribution to mitigate the negative impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on healthcare systems and economies across Africa.

The Africa Re Foundation’s overall corporate social responsibility contribution towards the fight against the pandemic currently amounts to $3.3m. The funds will be deployed to support key continental, regional and local players in the fight against Covid-19, the corporation said.


Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello on Wednesday visited the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola to solicit urgent Federal Government’s attention to the deplorable condition of federal roads in Kogi.
The governor’s visit came at the wake of a fatal road accident involving a tanker and other vehicles on the Okene/Lokoja/Abuja road that resulted in an explosion which claimed over 20 lives in the Felele area of Lokoja on Wednesday.
The governor told the minister that the deplorable state of all federal roads across the state have led to recurrent accidents in the state.
He said the state government has done a lot in maintaining the roads but owing to the large volume of traffic on the roads, in view of its strategic location as gateway state, such repairs and maintenance do not stand the test of time.
He appealed to the minister to expedite action in carrying out reconstruction of roads across the state to curtail the preventable accidents on the road.
The governor appealed to the minister to direct contractors handling repairs on the Murtala Bridge at Jamata to speed up the rate of work, noting that the slow pace of work has caused the commuters untold hardship.
Bello informed the minister that he had to personally be on ground on the Lokoja -Abuja road on July 26 to help other agencies to control the traffic gridlock caused on the Lokoja -Abuja road as a result of the damaged portion of the bridge.
He equally urged the minister to direct the contractors handling the Kabba-Ilorin road to return to site, noting that the total neglect of the road in the area has made life unbearable for motorists and commuters plying the road.
The governor also drew the attention of the minister to the Lokoja-Ganaja-Ajaokuta road which the federal government awarded for over three years but contractors were yet to be seen on site.
Responding, Fashola said he has directed the Federal Road Maintenance Agency to immediately move into action to fix bad portion of the road at the Felele end of the Okene/Lokoja/Abuja road.
The minister equally put calls across to contractors handling Kabba-Egbe-Omuaro road, Okene-Lokoja-Abuja road to inform them of the governor’s presence in his office and the need for them to speed up the works on the roads.
He assured the governor that the ministry will use the remaining part of the year to achieve more in fulfilling the governor’s request in respect of federal roads in the state.
Fashola commiserated with the governor, people and government of Kogi State over the accident that claimed lives on Wednesday in Lokoja.



I am delighted and honoured by the acceptance of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi to meet with the representatives of the National Insurance Commission on a courtesy visit that seeks to address areas of mutual benefits for the State, the People of Ekiti State and the Nigeria Insurance Industry.

Your Excellency, I bring to you the good wishes of the Board, Management, Staff of the National Insurance Commission and the Insurance Industry in Nigeria.

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is a statutory agency of the Federal Government established by the National Insurance Commission Act 1997 to regulate and supervise the Nigerian Insurance Sector. The Commission is the adviser to the Government on all insurance related matters

The Commission derives its regulatory and supervisory powers from the NAICOM and Insurance Acts 1997 and 2003 respectively. Consequently, Insurance/Reinsurance Companies, Insurance Brokers, Loss Adjusters, Agents and insurance activities generally fall within the supervisory and regulatory purview of the Commission.

It is however imperative to reiterate that the Financial Services Industry is central to the growth and sustainable development of any nation and state because of its direct impact on access to finance, catalyst to improved income, poverty reduction and stability in the financial system.

As a subset of the Financial Services Industry, Insurance industry is a pivot to guarantee the sustainability of growth and development of the State and its people.

We have therefore noted the necessity to plant “Insurance” and “People” at the center of any equation that tends to create, enhance, sustain and manage growth and development in any economy.

As a people, human activities have associated risks and in spite of every precautionary measure to avoid the occurrence of losses or damages, the unexpected still occur.

In consequence of the losses the victims are prone to sufferings which in many cases may lead to total impoverishment of a large proportion of those affected. To ameliorate the situation of victims, laws have been put in place for an arrangement that will ensure that victims and especially third parties are adequately compensated.

The objectives of protecting third parties and relieving the government of the avoidable burden of compensation from the meager wallet of the government led to the enactment of various laws on compulsory insurance products.

Over the years, the Commission has embarked on series of programs aimed at a nationwide massive public enlightenment with respect to compliance with the laws on compulsory insurances.
Your Excellency, you are please invited to note that relevant Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have made the following Insurances mandatory:

a) All Buildings under construction that are more than two (2) floors (Builders Liability);

b) All Public Buildings including Schools, Offices, Hotels, hospitals, Markets (Occupiers Liability)etc;

c) Group Life Insurance for all Employees of both Public and Private Sectors;

d) Professional Indemnity for all Medical Practitioners and

e) Third Party Motor Vehicle Insurance in respect of death, injury or damage to

the property of third parties.

It is on the strength of the above that the Commission is seeking collaboration with the State government in the enforcement of the above mentioned compulsory insurances in the State. As the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum there is no better place to start the campaign than Ekiti State.

Your Excellency, permit me to briefly highlight the benefits of this collaboration with State Government as follows:

a) Financial Compensation to the families of insured citizens who may become victims of a disaster through loss of their properties or become disabled in event of occurrence of insured accidents/disasters, etc;

b) A robust group life insurance policy made compulsory by the Pension Reform Act 2014 gives hope to the workforce who will be ready to go extra mile in carrying out assign duties knowing fully well that the employer has made provision for the dependant in event of the unexpected.

c) Creation of employment opportunities for citizens of the State

d) Provision of grants and Fire-Fighting Equipment for the States’ Fire Services by NAICOM from the Fire Fund as stipulated in the Insurance Act 2003;

e) Reduction in the government expenditure in event of disaster that may affect the citizens of the State by shifting the burden to the risk-bearers (Insurance Companies).

f) Free Insurance and Risk Management Education and Enlightenment programme for the citizens of the State; and

f) Creation of additional source of internally generated revenue (IGR) for State Government in collaboration with your relevant Ministries and Agencies.

Conclusion and Prayers

His Excellency is requested to graciously consider the benefits of the proposed collaboration for the enrichment of the State and the sustainability of the Nigeria economy at large.

His Excellency is please requested to domesticate the compulsory insurances in the State and create a structure that can be supported by NAICOM in the enforcement of the compulsory insurances.

We therefore pray and recommend His Excellency’s nomination of Agency of the Government that will serve as liaison office with the Commission in this collaboration.

The nominated agency may be requested to work with the Team of the state who shall be dedicated to this collaboration and recommend appropriate measure to domesticate the enforcement of the compulsory insurances in the State.

Your Excellency, once again I wish to profoundly extend my sincere appreciation to the people of Ekiti State, staff of the Governor’s Office in acknowledgement of the warmth reception and hospitality received since my arrival into the State.

WAICA Re grows gross premium by 21%

WAICA Reinsurance Corporation Plc has said that it’s Gross Written Premium increased by 21 percent to $70.3 million as at the end of the 2019 financial year from $58.0 million in 2018.

According to the company’s 2019 annual report and financial statement, Group Chairman, Kofi Duffuor said that year 2019 was another year of improved financial performance indicating that they are a much stronger reinsurer today than a year ago.

The financial report stated that net earned premium went up by 11 percent to $58.1 million from $52.6 million.

While commission expense went up by 10 percent to $17.6 million, from $16.1 million, claims incurred increased by 11 percent to $18.7 million from $16.9 million.

The report further stated that technical profit climbed by 13 percent to $23.2 million from $20.5 million while underwriting profit went up by 64 percent to $5.0 million from $3.0 million.

Management expenses went up by four percent to $18.2 million from $17.4 million, investment & other income went down by 16 percent to $3.4 million from $4.1 million.

Meanwhile profit before tax went up by 42 percent to $9.7 million from $6.8 million, cash and investments went up by seven percent to $88.9 million from $83.3 million.

Meanwhile speaking on the performance of the company, Duffuor said: “Gross Written Premium (GWP) grew from $58 million to $70.3 million representing 21% growth over 2018. Facultative business contributed 75 percent of the 2019 premium income while Treaty business brought in 25 percent. Year on year, facultative business grew by 24 percent whilst that for treaty grew by 13 percent.

“Except for COVID-19, whose impact we cannot currently predict with certainty, we have set the platform for a greater future, established strong financial, technical and operational paths that will spur us on to deliver quality service to business partners and build shareholder value. Significant progress has been made against our group strategic goals.”

CRE ‘s profit rise amid cautious optimism

Continental Re has reported, as at half-year 2020, strong growth across all key metrics. It said gross premium income at NGN26.8bn ($71.7m) reflects 27% growth over 2019. Underwriting profit at NGN2.7bn ($6.9m) grew by 442% (2019: NGN457m/$1.3m).

The success comes amid the Covid-19 crisis. Dr Femi Oyetunji, group managing director, said: “These results come as we brace for the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, which continues to unfold. We remain cautiously optimistic regarding prospects for the year overall and, in conjunction with our partners, we look forward to better times ahead.

“We remain fully committed to playing our part in supporting our partners and the wider community through the pandemic, including prioritising financial donations through industry bodies in our various jurisdictions for sustainable and equitable use for the benefit of local citizens.”

Investment and other income at NGN1.4bn/$4.6m (2019: NGN1.2bn/$3.6m) reflected a 30% year-on-year growth, the company reported. Profit before tax at NGN4.4bn/$12.3m (2019: NGN1.1bn/$3.1m) represents a 300% increase.

“The strong contribution to the group’s half-year results from our entire network, with offices in Anglophone west Africa, east Africa, southern Africa, CIMA and North Africa, is a testament to the resilience wrought by our operating model that is anchored on geographic diversity. We shall continue to adapt and improve this model as we strive for superior efficiency,” said Dr Oyetunji.

At the same time, Continental Reinsurance Plc announced a change in the ownership structure of Continental Reinsurance Ltd (Botswana). After its recent acquisition of a minority 40% stake in the company, through its holding company, CRe African Investments Limited, from Botswana Insurance Company Ltd, Continental Reinsurance now holds 100% of the issued ordinary share capital in the subsidiary.

Dr Oyetunji commented: “The acquisition means not only growth in economic size, but also presents us with an opportunity to enhance our strategic influence and broaden our market appeal through the expansion of stakeholder segments that we actively interact with.

“Building on our talent growth and diversity strategy, we have appointed Francis Nzwili, previously with our Nairobi subsidiary, as managing director of the Botswana business. Francis comes on board with a wealth of experience in underwriting and business development that significantly complements the strength of the existing team. The position of managing director was previously held by Cas Hansa, who has taken up new strategic responsibilities as group head: underwriting and claims,” he added.