NCRIB honours P/Harcourt Monarch

By admin

The President, Nigeria Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Dr Bola Onigbogi, has said that the decision to honour His Majesty, King Leslie N Eke, Eze Gbakagbaka, was as a result of his determination to support the South South Area Committee of the body.

Eze Gbakagbaka was honoured with Ambassadorial award by the insurance council.

Onigbogi made the remark when NCRIB paid a courtesy call on the royal father at his palace in Woji, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, last week.
She said the visit was not only to appreciate Eze Eke, but to also announce the council’s presence for the stakeholders’ meeting, conference and investiture of a new chairman of the Area Council held in Port Harcourt.

Describing Life Policy as a stand alone policy, she pointed out that there must be a reason to suffer loss before one can lay a valid claim to it.

She explained further that only clients registered through a registered insurance company would benefit in the event of any loss.

“In insurance, we consider the hard risk. If you insure life, you insure a lighter policy”, she said.

In his response, the Eze Oha Evo III of Evo Kingdom, informed his visitors that all forms of businesses including that of the insurance can now thrive in the state due to the infrastructural provisions made by the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.

The monarch noted that Governor Wike has put in place all necessary infrastructure that can aid investment and called on investors to make good of the opportunity.

He also urged the insurance council to work out modalities on how to remove or reduce bottlenecks associated with insurance claims in order to have more clients and patronage.

Meanwhile, a group of women from the Kingdom, has also called on insurance practitioners to put in place some policies that will benefit women directly as burden bearers of the family

World Health day: Devcoms call on FG to address inequality

By Favour Nnabugwu

Development Communication, Devcoms, has called the federal government on this World Health Day to address the issue of inequality amongst Nigerians.

The communication also implored the government to provide equitable health care coverage to all citizens to reduce the impact of health emergencies on Nigerians.

Program Director, of Devcoms, Mr. Akin Jimoh informed that the ongoing Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic has shown the fragile nature of health care services and coverage in the country a situation has been worsened by the ongoing strike by resident doctors across the country.

According to him, “We call on the Nigerian government to address health inequalities in the country and provide a conducive environment for citizens to thrive in good health.  Failure to provide equitable access to quality healthcare is unfair to Nigerians”.

The actions of the doctors are a direct result of age-long disagreements with the government, an action that impacts more on vulnerable groups across the country.

“We, at Development Communications (DevComs) Network, condemn the unequal access to health care delivery between the general populace and government officials, political leaders, traditional rulers, and the majority of the affluent in the society”.

He also stated, “Majority of Nigerians struggle daily to make ends meet and put food on the table.  Most of them still live below poverty lines and the advent of COVID-19 has shown the unequal distribution of wealth in the country”

“Though Nigeria is a resource-rich country, the majority of citizens continue to wallop in poverty.  This has led to a lot of problems in the country from insecurity to lack of many social amenities including steady electricity supply,  portable water, and so on”

He continued, “All these impact on the health of the populace and lack of good health indices is an indicator that we are not thriving as a country”.

“The Nigerian government needs to do more for the populace no matter who is in power in the country,” he adds.

COVID-19 has hit all nations with a greater impact on communities and vulnerable groups, with limited access to high-quality health care and a high burden of disease and infirmities.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that “some people are able to live healthier lives and have better access to health services than others – entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, grow, live, work and age.”

NAIC pays N1.7bn claims to 5,000 farmers in 2 years

By Favour Nnabugwu

The Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) paid a whopping N1.7biilion claims to over 5,000 farmers in two years

A breakdown of it showed that the Corporation paid N856million in 2019 and N848 million as claims to its insured farmers in the 2020.

The Managing Director of NAIC, Mrs. Folashade Joseph said the claims were paid to the Corporation’s clients to cover losses incurred by them in the course of doing business.

Joseph enjoined agricultural investors and lending institutions to continue to partner NAIC to realize the food security agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the amount was shared among 5 million farmers who suffered various setbacks in their farms as a result of natural course.

The scheme was launched in 1987 by federal government to restore the confidence and productivity of Nigerian farmers who suffered losses as a result of natural disaster such as flood, drought, pest and diseases.

She explained that the essence of the sensitization is to let the farmers known and understand exactly what NAIC does, the importance of insurance, and make them understand how insurance works, how they can access NAIC products and services, processing their claims, and what they need.

Agribusiness is evolving fast and so many risks are being thrown up, many new participants are coming into the business of agriculture, and the risks are on the increase if you look at them across the value chain there is no so many participants so we need to keep sensitizing the farmers and let them know we are serving them, and we need to know from them on how to serve them.

“Our assurance to farmers is that when they are insured and they suffered for any of the products insured including natural disasters and whatever they will get paid for their losses, and that is the purpose of insurance and setting up NAIC. Our motor is ‘Plowing the Farmer Back to Business, Plowing the Farmers into Prosperity’, and we settle claims.”

NAIC currently deals with thousands of farmers (Small, Medium, and Large scale farmers) across the country, which NAIC serves farmers with investment as little as N100, 000, and at the same time serves multinational farmers. In terms of reach out to farmers, it cuts across.

“The response of farmers has been fantastic because they have realized that every business needs insurance, and agric too is a business, and we see it as a business and there is risk in all that we do.

26 day after, WAEC releases WASSCE results as females lead in five credits

By Favour Nnabugwu
Twenty-six days after the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, Nigeria was conducted, results are released of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, for private candidates 2021.
The Head of the Nigeria National office, WAEC, Mr. Patrick Areghan made this known in Lagos as females take the lead on minimum of five credits subjects including English Language and Mathematics.
Breakdown the results, he said, “A total of Seven Thousand Six Hundred and Ninety (7,690) (representing a 38% decline, when compared with the 2020 entry figure)entered for the examination, while Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty-Nine (7,289) candidates actually sat the examination at Two Hundred and Fifty-Two (252) centres spread across the nooks and crannies of the country.
Though he attributed the decline in theentry figure to the negative impact of the COVID– 19 pandemic.
“A total of Twenty-Three (23) candidates with varying degrees of Special Needs were registered for the examination. Out of this number, Six (6) were visually challenged, Two (2)had impaired hearing; Five (5) were Albino; One (1)was spastic cum mentally challenged, and Nine (9) were physically challenged with their results processed and also released.
 “Of the total number of Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty-Nine (7,289) candidates that sat the examination, Three Thousand Five Hundred and
Ninety-Three (3,593) were males while Three Thousand Six Hundred and Ninety-Six (3,696) were females, representing 49.29 percent and 50.71 percent respectively.
“Of this number, One Thousand and Seventy-Four (1,074) i.e. 48.93 percent were male candidates, while One Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty-One (1,121) i.e. 51.07 percent were female candidates.
The percentage of candidates in this category in the WASSCE for Private Candidates, 2019 and 2020, that is, those who obtained credit and above in a minimum of five (5) subjects, including English Language and Mathematics, were 26.08 percent and 32.23 percent respectively. Thus, there is a marginal decrease of 2.12 percent” Mr Areghan noted.
Federal Civil Servants want return of gratuity, review of Pension Act

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The civil servants under the eagis of President, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) have demanded the immediate and quick return of payment of gratuity to retirees at the point of retirement.

The return of gratuity, they said, would motivate workers for effective productivity and service delivery, while in service and also end the suffering of pensioners, which they now experience immediately after retirement.

To this end, labour has demanded an immediate review of the Pension Act and has approached the Federal Government to effectively and unambiguously reflect the payment of gratuity in the Act

Already, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation has promised to set up a committee to look at the issue of re-introduction of gratuity to retiring workers.

ASCSN President, Comrade Tommy Etim Okon, said there is no provision in the Pension Act and any extant law, that erased payment of gratuity.

He added that the union has already written a memo to the Federal Government, through the Head of Service of the Federation, to demand the immediate return of gratuity.
When you look at the Pension Act as amended in 2014, you will find out that there is no provision that has stopped payment of gratuity to Nigerian workers.” Comd. Tommy said while speaking to Tribune Online in Abuja.

The ASCSN president pointed out that the association along with other trade unions and comrades in the struggle would approach the issue with the government and ensure that the Pension Act is revisited.

He said: “It is inhumane for a worker to put in 35 years or reached sixty years old as the case may be and you just wait for pension without something to say thank you. That was the essence of gratuity but I bet you, since the issue of pension came, nobody is talking about that aspect and there’s no provision in the Pension Act that has eroded that aspect. So, we need to look at that.”

On the issue of Contributory Pension Scheme, Comd. Tommy insisted that there was no provision in that Act that says that management should not pay gratuity.
He added: “Contributory Pension Scheme is your money and government is only paying a certain percentage and you are also paying a percentage. So, that does not stop the government from saying thank you.”

He cited an example of other government parastatals or agencies, especially the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) where workers still receive gratuity after retirement, apart from their huge and fat salaries.

According to him, “we are not running a different economy, the workers in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other agencies are earning far and fat. For example, for a worker that has gotten to a directorate cadre, when you leave the Central Bank of Nigeria, you are collecting nothing less than N130 million just to say thank you and then your pension keeps coming.

So, why is it different in the public sector? I can challenge anyone to show me where in the pension Act, that says that gratuity should not be paid. We can’t talk about the issue of contributory Pension and you think, that has eroded the gratuity. It has not eroded it.

“We need to go back and look at the interpretation of some of those provisions for us to be in line with the reality on ground. That is why, when a worker is retired, he becomes a beggar. What on earth will keep a retiree for three to four years before receiving pension?

“It, therefore, means that the worker has put in all of his or her best, only for the government to throw them away into an economy that they never planned for. So, they die even before they get their pension. But if they have collected a gratuity, that would have even helped them to live long because most of them even live on drugs.”

However, he ruled out any legal option, saying that legality is not the solution to the problem of industrial relations but the application of a lobbying mechanism.

He said: “We have put up a memo to the Head of Service and the memo is presently before the Head of Service. We expected a committee to be set up by her to look at it and then we take it up from there. So, it is not all about legality, it has to also do with morality.

“In the memo, we raised some issues including this, and the Head of Service promised to set up a committee so that we look at it together, but we are still expecting that committee to be set up. Once the committee is set up, then we proceed from there. I am very sure that the resolution from that committee, the position paper will be approved and gratuity will return to the service.”

Financial strength of reinsurers in 2020

By Favour Nnabugwu

Against all odds, some reinsurers have even managed to raise funds in 2020.

However, the injection of new financial resources was not good enough to offset the slight decrease in capacity reported during the current year.

The 20 largest reinsurers had a capital surplus of 8 percent at the end of 2019, an assessment being made in relation to the requirements of their rating level.

Since the natural catastrophes that heavily affected 2017 and 2018, no reinsurer has been granted an AAA rating. At the end of 2020, the best rating, AA+, is held by only one reinsurer, Berkshire Hathaway while three other reinsurers are rated AA.

In addition to natural catastrophes, other factors have led to the downgrades in ratings seen in 2017-2018. These downgrade factors include asset-liability management adjustments, longevity risk capital charges, share buybacks and special dividends.

In 2020, 40 reinsurers hold a minimum S&P rating of A-. These reinsurers have raised nearly 10 billion USD in capital in 2020. The current year has also witnessed the arrival of new reinsurance companies, determined to tap into the potential price rebound.
In 2020, 8 of the top 10 reinsurers have had their ratings confirmed, while two of them have been downgraded.

Notably, no reinsurer in the top 10 managed to obtain a higher rating in 2020 than the one obtained in 2019.

The overall level of both traditional and alternative capital has recently declined. This has helped to support the rebound in non-life reinsurance rates in an industry that so badly needs it.

It should also be noted that with the exception of AM Best, most rating agencies have downgraded the outlook for the sector from stable to negative. Standard & Poor’s expects a drop in profitability that will have its impact on the combined ratio.

The agency estimates that this ratio will be close to 105 percent in 2020, or even higher if losses related to coronavirus exceed 30 billion USD for the whole insurance and reinsurance industry. Only AM Best has kept the market outlook stable

AM Best has published the top 50 global reinsurers in 2019. Swiss Re ranked first for the second consecutive year. The Swiss company recorded a total of 42.228 billion USD in gross written premi-ums, an increase of 16 percent compared to 2018.

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a” of African Reinsurance Corporation (ARC) (Nigeria). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect ARC’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

ARC’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). AM Best expects ARC’s capital position to be supported by high earnings retention, a conservative investment allocation and low underwriting leverage.

ARC has significant exposure to the high levels of economic, political and financial system risk that are associated with operating in the African region.

However, AM Best considers that the company is able to offset this risk partially through its geographical diversification and conservative asset management strategy, with a significant proportion of surplus assets held in North America and Europe.

ARC’s long-term operating performance has been strong, despite challenging market conditions, evidenced by its five-year (2015-2019) weighted average return on equity (ROE) of 9.9percent.

AM Best notes that ROE should be viewed in the context of ARC’s reporting currency, the US Dollar, which somewhat limits the impact of the high local inflation on the company’s reported net income.

The company has demonstrated solid non-life underwriting performance, posting a five-year (2015-2019) weighted average combined ratio of 94.2percent

However, underwriting results deteriorated in 2018 and 2019, with non-life combined ratios of 97.9 percent and 97.4 percent respectively.  Although AM Best expects the company’s underwriting performance to improve over the medium term as the management team continues to implement corrective actions, 2020 is likely to be another challenging year.

ARC operates as a composite reinsurer across Africa, with a focus toward the continent’s largest insurance markets. The company’s privileged market access and brand recognition provide ARC with solid long-term growth prospects as the region’s insurance markets develop. AM Best considers ARC’s ERM framework to be suitable given the size and complexity of its operations.

This performance goes back to the growth of the non-life activity in the Americas and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). These two regions account for 25.1 percent of Swiss Re’s revenues.

Munich Re takes the second position in the ranking with 37.864 billion USD in premiums. Hannover Re retains the third place with 25.309 billion USD in premiums.

AM. Best has pointed out that the top ten reinsurers generate 69 percent of earnings. The average com-bined ratio of all companies stands at 102.4 percent, a slight deterioration compared to 2018 (100.9 percent)

16 insurance companies record 27% increase in aggregate profit in 2020

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Top16 insurance companies have recorded favourable financial results for 2020 financial year recorded 27 percent increase in aggregate profit for last year.

Despite an adverse operating environment cast last year by the COVID-19 pandemic and #EndSARS protests, a series of mass demonstrations against police brutality that over event last year, the 16 insurers still pull through

They are AIICO Insurance, AXA Mansard, Consolidated Hallmark, Cornerstone Insurance, Coronation Insurance, Linkage Assurance, Mutual Benefits Assurance, Nem Insurance, Niger Insurance, Prestige Assurance, Regency Alliance, Royal Exchange, Sovereign Trust, Sunu Assurance, Universal Insurance, and Veritas Kapital.

In the financial statements the 16 insurers lodged with the Nigerian Stock Exchange show a 27 percent increase in aggregate profits for 2020, a pace which is slower than the 89 percent surge shown in 2019.

The insurance companies’ combined profit after tax (PAT) rose to NGN26.5bn ($69.7m) in 2020 from NGN20.8bn in 2019. Their 2018 PAT was NGN11bn.

The combined GWP grew by 16 percent to NGN255.1bn in 2020 from NGN219.6bn in 2019. In comparison, in 2019, the combined GWP rose by 39.2 percent from NGN157.8bn in 2018..

The turnover grew by 16 percent from 219.6 billion NGN (572.69 million USD) in 2019 to 255.1 billion NGN (665.27 million USD) in 2020.

Although the #EndSARS crisis was devastating for the Nigerian economy, it caused less damage to insurers because of the low insurance coverage in the country. Group managing director of Continental Reinsurance,

Dr Femi Oyetunji, said, “One of the things that I have found most disheartening in Africa is that if there is a disaster, there are huge economic losses but few insured losses because of the low insurance penetration.

“Unfortunately, the insurable loss from the #EndSARS protests is nothing compared to the economic loss and that again is because of under-insurance or non-insurance. People don’t know the importance of insurance.”

PFA, Life underwriters pay N205.12bn death benefits to 62,596 workers’ relatives

The Pension Fund Administrators and life underwriters providing group life cover have paid a whopping sum of N205.12bn death benefits to 62,596 deceased workers’ relatives.

The National Pension Commission since the inception of Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS on approval of death benefits for the fourth quarter confirmed this.

The CPS which was introduced by the Pension Reform Act in 2014 mandates the employers in public and private sectors to ensure their workers open Retirement Savings Accounts with PFAs.

It also mandates the employers to remit a total of 18 per cent of the monthly emoluments of the employees, comprising 10 per cent employer and eight per cent employee contributions into the respective RSAs.

PenCom stated that in the fourth quarter of 2019, “The commission approved the payment of N4.28bn as death benefits to the beneficiaries of the 1,586 deceased employees during the quarter under review, which brought the total number of deceased employees from both public and private sectors to 55,820.

The amount paid during the quarter moved the total payments of death benefits to N173.86bn.”

This is in addition to having a group life insurance cover for the workers, which guarantees three times annual emolument as death settlement

It added that in Q1, 2020, “The commission approved the payment of N9.34bn as death benefits to the beneficiaries of the 2,086 deceased employees during the quarter under review.

In Q2, 2020, “The commission approved the payment of N2.58bn as death benefits to the beneficiaries of the 591 deceased employees during the quarter under review.

“The commission approved the payment of N8.56bn as death benefits to the beneficiaries of 1,821 deceased employees during the Q3, 2020.

In Q4, 2020, “During the quarter under review, approvals were granted for payment of death benefits amounting to N10.78bbn to the legal named beneficiaries/administrators of 2,278 deceased employees and retirees, (comprising 1,582 public (FGN and states) and 696 private sectors).

These brought the total death figure and death settlements to 62,596 cases and N205.12bn respectively.

According to the commission, the contributors under the CPS rose slightly to 9.24 million in January from 9.22 million in December.
The commission disclosed that out of the employers that applied, a total of 1,877 organisations got its clearance for putting in place appropriate pension and insurance covers for their employees in the fourth quarter of 2020.

This qualified them to do business with the Federal Government.

It stated, “The commission received a total of 1,900 applications from private sector organisations for the issuance of pension clearance certificates.

“Out of this number, PCCs were issued to 1,877 organisations while 23 applications were declined due to inability of the organisations to meet the requirements for issuance of certificates.

“The records show that a total sum of N9.88bn was remitted into the RSAs of 41,923 employees of the 1,877 organisations.

Sovereign Trust Insurance expands branch network

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Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc has put all me hanism in place to embark on a branch development strategy that will position the company among the top ones in the sector

Having established office in Lagos with three area offices in Apapa, Ikeja, Lagos Central and an agency office in Lekki as well as its head office in Victoria Island. It also has offices in other cities including Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja, Aba, Akure, Enugu and Kaduna.

The company’s Managing Director, Mr Olaotan Soyinka, put forward that the company is currently in a good position to spread its branches across commercial towns in the country to ensure proper distribution of its products

As a transiting world-class organisation conscious of its brand equity, the company has a well-entrenched culture of upholding sound moral and professional ethics beyond profit.

“From inception, the company has significantly shown upward progression in every area of its operations making it one of the fastest growing and upwardly mobile insurance companies in the country,” Soyinka said.

As a transiting world-class organisation conscious of its brand equity, the company has a well-entrenched culture of upholding sound moral and professional ethics beyond profit.

“From inception, the company has significantly shown upward progression in every area of its operations making it one of the fastest growing and upwardly mobile insurance companies in the country,” Soyinka said.

He stated, “For Sovereign Trust Insurance, new things are just coming into the market, saying the company was ready to bring in innovation that would turnaround the industry.

According to him, “Forfor Sovereign Trust Insurance, new things are just coming into the market, saying the company was ready to bring in innovation that would turnaround the industry”

Tunisia motor insurance claims hit USD737m in 2019

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Tunisian Federation of Insurance Companies (FTUSA) has said losses incured by insurance companies for the motor industry reached 737 million USD (263.063 million USD) in 2019 compared to 664 million USD (220.605 million USD) in 2018.

The number of road accidents in Tunisia in 2019 reached 5 972, resulting in 1 150 deaths and 8 574 injuries.

However, there a decrease in the number of road accidents (4 774) deaths (890) as well as injuries (6 522) in Tunisia in 2020.

These figures, according to FTUSA, remain high for the year 2020 which was marked by lockdowns and traffic restrictions.

But in the figures published by the National Observatory for Road Safety (ONSR), show that the number of road accidents in Tunisia from January 1 to 29 December 2020 has decreased by 23.4 percent compared to 2019.

As of 31 December 2020, Tunisian roads recorded 4 574 accidents against 5 972 on 31 December 2019. The number of fatalities has also lowered by 22.6 percent from 1 150 in 2019 to 890 one year later. The number of injured degraded by 23.9bpercent in 2020 to be set at 6 522.

The ONSR says careless driving has caused 1 434 accidents in 2020 that is 31 percent of total road accidents. The number of claims related to speeding was set at 688, while 427 accidents are linked to the non-compliance with the rules for priority.