President Buhari re-appoints INEC Chairman for second term

President Muhammadu Buhari has reappointed Professor Mahmood Yakubu as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for another five-year term.
A statement from presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina revealed the president’s decision on Tuesday, October 27. In a letter to the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, the president said the move is in accordance with the provision of Section 154 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

Professor Yakubu was first appointed by President Buhari in November 2015. Opposition parties in Nigeria are expected to come up with their stance on Yakubu’s reappointment as the INEC chairman has been subjected to intense criticisms by opposition politicians in the past.

FAAN seals off some airlines over debts

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has sealed off some airlines counters at Nnamidi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja over debts owe by the airlines.

The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu who confirmed the development yesterday, said it was FAAN revenue drive efforts in Abuja airport.

Passengers on Azman airline to Maiduguri and other places could not buy tickets or even board their flights as staff of the airlines were unable to complete ticket and boarding formalities as the FAAN task force sealed off the counters.
Also affected are aerocontractors passengers and many others.

Commenting on the development, one of the affected stakeholders said : “The passengers were stranded because the airlines failed to pay bills which the customers had already provided funds for.”

“We have joined to condemn FAAN on occasions of poor service delivery, we should also call out debtor airlines who owe FAAN and not allowing it earn in other to perform its duties. FAAN should use any legal means to collect its monies. Some airlines are chronic debtors. If everybody do their part we will have a functional sector.”

“Not paying your bills when you have received the funds should not be encouraged either. Much stiffer sanctions could have been applied.”
Another stakeholders however blamed FAAN. He said : “ The problem with our FAAN over the years has been its lackadaisical attitude to revenue collection. Sometimes, it is either the other company claims irregular billing or inaccurate billing or irreconcilable differences in their billing system.

FAAN has also failed as much as it had tried to engender Automation in billing and payment system. We have advocated some safety measures severally, but same system. The worst part is the diversion of same funds to private pockets, ” he added.

AIG names Zaffino new CEO..To split life insurance

By Favour Nnabugwu

American International Group has disclosed the current AIG’s president and chief operating officer, Mr. Peter Zaffino will become its next CEO come as of March 1, 2021 as well as plans to separate its Life & Retirement business into an independent company.

Current CEO Brian Duperreault will continue with the company as executive chairman, and he’ll take on that new role also on March 1. With this change, Douglas Steenland, currently Independent chairman of the board, will become Lead Independent Director.

The leadership transition was widely expected. When Duperreault became AIG president and CEO in 2017, he brought on Zaffino – then the Marsh CEO- as executive vice president and global Chief operating officer as Zaffino later took on the title of president from Duperreault, and has played an increasingly prominent role has uring AIG’s quarterly earnings calls with analysts. Both worked closely together at Marsh parent Marsh & McLennan Cos. when Duperreault ran the operation from 2008 through 2012.

AIG under Duperreault’s leadership had been able to improve it’s operations has particularly the fortunes of its General Insurance, or property/casualty business. Duperreault, in turn, credits Zaffino with playing a crucial role in the process. He said in prepared remarks that Zaffino “has been instrumental in the significant turnaround and transformation at AIG and his vision, determination and pursuit of excellence will help ensure the company’s future success.”

Zaffino said in prepared remarks that he is looking forward to leading AIG’s “next phase” on its way “to becoming a top performing company.”

Goodbye to Life & Retirement

Alongside the Zaffino announcement, AIG said it would separate the insurer’s Life & Health business into its own entity.

AIG in its announcement stressed that “no decisions have been made as to how to achieve a full separation,” but the company plans to do so “in a way that maximizes shareholder value and establishes two independent, market leading companies.”

Duperreault said that the decision to pursue a separation of its Life & Retirement business is an outgrowth of the last three years, during which AIG has “taken significant action to de-risk AIG and position the company for profitable growth, including fortifying General Insurance, diversifying Life & Retirement, significantly strengthening AIG’s capital and liquidity position, and building a world-class team. ”

Zaffino said that separating Life & Retirement from AIG will continue that improvement process, and “will enable each entity to achieve a more appropriate and sustainable valuation.”

The issue of whether to downsize AIG is not exactly new.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn pushed AIG heavily to shrink itself when he was a shareholder before Duperreault’s arrival, and threatened a proxy fight with management over the issue. Specifically, Icahn wanted AIG to split into three companies offering property/casualty insurance, life insurance and a third backing mortgages.

Any action to separate the Life & Retirement business is pending various conditions and approvals, including approval by the AIG Board of Directors, receipt of insurance and other required regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of any applicable requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission, AIG said.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) analyst Meyer Shields said that while there is “no assurance” about form, timing, terms or “that a separation will in fact occur,” he does think the proposal signals material confidence in AIG’s post- separation P/C insurance prospects, where results have been significantly challenged.

The life and retirement revenues were 34% of AIG’s overall $49 billion in 2019 revenue; with 64% being from its general insurance business, according to the company’s annual report.

In 2016 AIG did downsize somewhat by selling off its advisor group and part of United Guaranty Corp., its mortgage insurer.

Changes Amid High Catastrophe Losses

AIG announced its leadership and Life & Retirement plans along with a third disclosure concerning its 2020 property/casualty third quarter catastrophe losses.

Those losses from AIG’s General Insurance arm hit $790 million pretax, including $185 million from COVID-19-related claims due to its travel, event cancellation, trade credit, property, agriculture and casualty books of business. The rest came from windstorms and tropical storms in the Americas and Japan, along with wildfires on the U.S. west coast.

Duppereault said AIG has faced a limited impact from those losses, due to its “underwriting discipline, reinsurance programs, revamped risk appetite” and its balance sheet.

AIG plans to report its 2020 third quarter results after the market closes on Nov. 5, 2020. Its quarterly earnings call will be on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, starting at 8 a.m.

FG declares October 29 public holiday

By Favour Nnabugwu

The federal government has declared Thursday, October 29, as public holiday to mark this year’s Eidul-Mawlid celebration in commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

Minister of interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the federal government and congratulated the Muslim faithful both at home and abroad for witnessing this year’s occasion.

He enjoined them to imbibe the spirit of love, patience and perseverance which are the virtues of Prophet Muhammad, adding that doing so would guarantee peace and security in the country.

President Buhari’s minister, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, signed the statement on behalf of the federal government.

The minister also admonished Muslims to follow the teaching of the Holy Quran in Chapter 4 Verse 59. Ogbeni Aregbesola enjoined Nigerians, particularly Muslims, at this moment, to abhor violence, lawlessness, wantonness and daylight robbery as witnessed across the country most recently.

While calling for a stop to all divisive tendencies across the country, he urged all Nigerians & the youth in particular, to embrace peace and cooperate with Buhari led-administration in its effort to build a virile nation, which all citizens can be proud of. Ogbeni Aregbesola who described the youth as the hope and future of the nation advised them further to deepen democracy and not dampen it.

Aisha Dahir-Umar: A woman with a distinctive impact

By Favour Nnabugwu

Every organization needs a leader irrespective of the gender or age. In working towards growth and development for a better Nigeria, women are though, not sufficiently involved in leadership roles but the few that are there are making impact.

It is pertinent to note that leadership is not gender-specific, it is a set of qualities inherent or cultivated in people who develop themselves into great leaders and the ability to influence and persuade people to follow a particular course of action towards the realization of a goal.

Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, the substantive Director-General of the National Pension Commission, PenCom, came with the agenda to make PenCom  a regulator that supervises a transparent and accountable pension industry where employees are required to maintain the highest ethical standards and attain the highest level of integrity in personal and official engagements.

She came into limelight following the removal of the former Director General (DG) of National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, the agency appointed Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar as replacement.

She acted in that capacity from 2017 until few weeks back when her appointment was made substantive by the Senate.

It is no news that all qualities required for leadership in building a more sustainable future are feminine in nature. Dahir-Umar is also good builders, good listeners, good communicators and emotionally intelligent. She encourages teamwork, lead by example and produce to reproduce the qualities for growth and development in PenCom.

The reforms she initiated would no doubt have infuriated some entrenched interests who believed they owned the agency. They have been fighting the DG since she came into office and had done everything to undermine her and her agenda for reform.

Part of her achievements

Yet, there is no denying the achievement of a woman who shies from the limelight and would rather her performance speaks for her. In less than three years, she has grown total assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme from  N6.4 trillion  by march 2017 to N11.35 trillion as at August 31, 2020.
The regulatory agency had equally ensured that pension funds are secured and only invested in viable and secure instruments that assure the owners of the funds that they can access their monies as and when due.

Returns on investments must also be competitive as this is part of the funds used at retirement. Reports show that  a total of N7.52 trillion (66.27 per cent) of the funds has been invested by the Pension Fund Administrators in the Federal Government of Nigeria’s securities, including FGN bonds, treasury bills, agency bonds, Sukuk bonds and green bonds.

This is one of the many characteristics of Mrs. Aishat Dahir-Umar When she brings this attitude into managerial roles, Dahir-Umar may not often realize how poised she is for success but her potential and abilities are undeniable.

Dahir-Umar said that the commission’s mission is to have 20 million contributors by 2020 while she added that the vision is to be an industry that makes significant impact on the nation’s economy.

In one of the many achievement of PenCom under her leadership, she believed that the Micro Pension can be accessed in the event of emergencies to help cushion the effects of business hardship, thereby promoting the sustainability of the business of the contributor.

“With a sustainable source of income, the contributor would be able to make consistent and continuous contributions towards retirement, making it a symbiotic relationship. This in turn builds the economy and the pension industry in the long run”.

“The commission has been able to put in place a robust information and communication technology infrastructure for registration, contribution and benefit administration under the Contributory Pension Scheme.”

She is a woman who naturally empathetic and does value relationships. This distinctive feature enables her to have a strong understanding of what drives and motivates people, and how to acknowledge different people for their performance.

A multitasking personality

One of the key aspects of leadership is the ability to help her team members develop their own skills and strengths only when a leader has a distinctive and natural way of nurturing

The woman during an interview with this writer observed her consistency, demonstration of passion, enthusiasm and an immense capacity to serve and be served by others.

The writer also observed that Dahir-Umar makes bold and wise decisions as a leader while relying on others to be part of her team with an environment that is less authoritarian and more cooperative and family-like, but with solid leadership.

A woman, like Dahir-Umar with a godly compassion will make a difference in her own life, and in the lives of others. She will make a difference in her marriage, in her children, in her place of worship, at the workplace, and everywhere she goes.

Zambia insurance market records 18.75% rise in turnover 2019

By Favour Nnabugwu

The Zambian insurance market recorded an 18.75 percent turnover increase in 2019. The latter went from 3.2 billion ZMW (266.48 million USD) in 2018 to 3.8 billion ZMW (272.16 million USD) one year later. This increase is driven by an insurance penetration rate of 2.63 percent  against 2.29 percent in 2018.

The non-life premiums amounted to 2.3 billion ZMW (164.73 million USD) against 1.5 billion ZMW (107.43 million USD) in the life activity.

The Zambian market includes 30 insurers: 9 of which operate in life insurance and 21 in non-life activity. The market also involves four reinsurers.

In collaboration with the World Bank, the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) has developed new rules supposed to better protect Zambian consumers.

PAmong PIA’s recommendations is the drafting of insurance contracts in a simple language the objective of which is to provide the policyholders with a better understanding of the covers underwritten. It should be noted that a control unit has been set up to ensure the enforcement of these new rules.

The market reported a turnover of 2.78 billion ZMK (310.5 million USD) in 2018, an increase of 16 percent  compared to 2017.

Ganduje presents N148b budget before Kano Assembly

By Favour Nnabugwu

The Kano State Governor, Mallam Abdullahi Ganduje has presented N147,933,302,948 as the 2021 budget termed “Budget for economic recovery and sustainable development” before the Kano state Assembly.

Ganduje while making the presentation on  declared that a total of N74.661b was declared for Capital expenditure which is N14.9b lower than the capital expenditure in of the 2020 budget in Kano today.

He also announced N73.273 billion as the recurrent expenditure for the 2021 fiscal year.

The budget is lower than the 2020 budget by N68,372,456,709 which was N206,207,759,657.

25 percent of the total budget, equivalent to N37.8 billion was declared to the educational sector while in 2020, the sector got 30 percent with N41.8 billion.

The health sector was allocated 17 percent of the budget in 2021 with N25.5 billion which is an increase from what was allocated in 2020 where N9.8 billion was allocated.

Other sectors that include Agriculture N5.7 billion, Water Resources N9 billion and Religious Affairs N555.7 million were announced by the Governor.

Others include Judiciary N5.1 billion Information N2.5 billion and Commerce and Industry 108.2 million were declared for the 2021 fiscal year.

Governor Ganduje thanked the people of the state for eschewing engaging in the current crises across the country while he assured of transparency in the implementation of governance in the state.

“I call on the people of the state to remain law abiding and shun negative activities. I also assure you of total transparency in the implementation of government programs in the state.”

Receiving the Budget, the Speaker of the Assembly, Abdulaziz Gafasa promised to continue to support the state government in its strive for the development of the state.

#ENDSARS: Air patrols, gunshots in Kubwa as hoodlums invade NYSC Camp * Kuje, Gwagwalada too * Banks, offices closed

By Favour Nnabugwu

Over 100 armed hoodlums invaded the National Youth Service Corps NYSC Orientation Camp, Kubwa Abuja, looking for palliative warehouse

Since they not able to gain fill entrance to the camp because of the security at the camp they were seen carting away mattresses, utensils, electronics and other items.

The development came as Kuje town, headquarters of the Kuje Area Council in Abuja was also thrown into pandemonium as hoodlums, armed with sticks and knives blocked roads and patrolled the streets in search of any warehouse housing the COVID-19 palliatives.

They have been going about with sticks, having blocked the roads within the town. Shops are locking up while passers-by are running to safety,  a Shoe Seller revealed

Elsewhere in Gwagwalada, hoodlums also broke into the premises of the zonal headquarters of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria FRCN, beating up the security men on duty and carting away valuables including air conditioning units.

While the warehouse at the NYSC camp is said to be empty, the hoodlums attacked some residents of the camp as well as shops adjacent the camp.

They had blocked the road at about 9am, turning back motorists while the Kubwa village market was immediately shut by its managers to avoid any invasion.

While soldiers and a detachment of the Nigerian Police struggled to ward off the invaders, the Nigerian Air Force and the Airwing of the Nigeria Police embarked on air patrol with helicopters hovering around the scene.

The ensuing confusion forced some parents and guardians to go and evacuate their wards from schools in the area even as banks and some offices in Kubwa hurriedly shut down operations.

Though the hoodlums were armed with jack- knives, sticks, matchetes and other dangerous weapons, some residents of the area were said to have earlier joined in the looting.

An eyewitness who declined to give his name said the hoodlums “carted away all removables such as cooking pots, ceiling fan, plasma TV, foodstuff, desktop computer, laptop in NYSC camp”.

According to him, some of the looted items were owned by private individuals residing at the NYSC camp.

“The hoodlums equally used the opportunity to loot computers, generators, textile materials in the shops directly opposite the NYSC entrance gate”, he stated.

Banks were seen attending to immediate customers while the shut their gate to any other customer for the day. They said they were to close for day after attending to customer who were already in the banks before the pendemonium started.

Securities at the bank premises have already mounted the gates of the banks in case of eventuality.

Other offices in Kubwa also had to lock up the day