FEC approves N10.5bn for airport management solution in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, P/Harcourt, Enugu

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the sum of N10.5 billion to supply Airport Management Solution to Nigerian international airports at Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika made this known at the end of the Council meeting, chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja yesterday.

He said the project would be completed in 12 months and subject to 7.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT).

According to him, “Today in Council, the Ministry of Aviation had a memorandum that was approved and this is a contract for the provision of Airport Management Solution for the international airports of Abuja, and that of Lagos and Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu. It is awarded in the sum of N10,594,057,618.20”..

Sen. Hadi Sirika is a former pilot and a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He represents Katsina North Senatoriat District under the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

Sirika was previously Vice-Chairman of the Millennium Development Goals Standing Committee of the Nigerian Senate. He became a senator in 2011. Before then, he served as a member of the House of Representatives between 2003 and 2007 on the platform of the ANPP.

He was General Manager of Katsina State Transport Authority from 1999 and 2000 and iwas  the Minister of State for Aviation and currently Minister of Aviation

FG to complete Abuja-Lokoja highway in Dec. 2021

By Favour Nnabugwu

The federal government has set December 2021 to complete the dualisation of the Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja highways projects, after firfteen years the project was awarded.

The Director of Highway, Construction and Rehabilitation, Ministry of Works and Housing, Engr. Funso Adebiyi, stated this during the inspection tour of the section one of the project (Zuba-Gbwagbwalada-Sheda axis) assured the road projects have attained various stages of completion.

Engr. Adebiyi also pledged the commitment of the Federal Government to reduce accidents on Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja road if completed.

He stated that the project would be completed at the end of the 2nd quarter of the year, saying that overloading is one of the major challenges affecting the durability of the federal roads.

According to him, “This road links south west, south east, south south to Abuja. We want to make sure that the number of accidents on this road are reduced to the bearest minimum. The quality of the work has been engaging, the pace is too slow.

“The general public should bear with us , they should maintain lane discipline, drive carefully , this diversion we did if everybody drives carefully and don’t overtake anyhow, there would be no traffic gridloc”.

“Everybody is in a hurry and this causes traffic problem, in the completed sections, I discovered that road users are generally impatient, they over speed a lot. When you see people drive on those sections, you will think they are going to heaven, they will be driving at about 160, 170 kilometres per hour, to where and why are they over speeding?

“The resultant effect of over speeding are colossal, as I am talking to you, two of our bridges have been destroyed and we have to repair those bridges again at our own cost.

“Again, over loading is another challenge. We are working on weigh bridges as soon as we complete the roads, some facilities will be there, toll plazas will be there, weigh bridges will be there.

“All these things are going to be put there. Infact, we have one already but our people need to be displined. When you drive, maintain lane discilpline, regulate your speed there is no point over speeding over speeding to where?

“Why are we risking our lives like this and for every time there is a fire outbreak maybe a truck hit another, it explodes into fire, all these destroy our pavement. And you will come back again and accuse us that our pavement does not last, you won’t know that you are the one spoiling it.

“The trucks again park indiscriminately and they turn our roads to their workshop, we are begging them to maintain lane discipline, don’t drink while you drive, don’t drive while you drink; drive carefully and maintain regular speed”, Adebiyi said.

Recall the Contracts for the dualisation of the total 196 kilometres Abuja-Lokoja road was awarded in four sections under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006 with a completion timeline of 30 months.

The four sections of the projects include, the Abuja-Lokoja Section 1, Juba to Sheda, 42 kilometres awarded to Dantata & Sawoe, Section II covers Sheda to Abaji, 57 kilometres awarded to RCC Construction Company Limited, Section three covers Abaji to Kotonkarfe awarded to Bulletine Construction Limited and section four which covers Kotonkarfe to Lokoja awarded to Gitto Construction Limited.

The contracts which was awarded to four contactors to in the total sum of N42.3 billion has gone through various contracts’ variation with each succeeding minister at the Ministry of Works and Housing effecting one amendment or the other.

For example, the initial of Section 1 was N11.2 billion, section 2, N9.6 billion, section three at cost of N9.6 billion as well as section four which, which gulped N11.9 billion, respectively. But the cost has witnessed several upward review over the time.

The 196 kilometres of the Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja Federal Highway is one of the roads that play a very important role in the life of the nation in terms of movement of goods, human beings and other necessities through vehicular transportation.

The road is also very significant to the survival of the nation because it boast economic activities in the country. Apart from the economic activities, the road also serves at the link between the Southern and the Northern parts of the country.

It linked the entire southern Nigeria to the seat of the power-Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and to the rest of the Northern states and became one of the busiest roads in Nigeria today.



Lloyd’s loss £877m in 2020 as pandemic claims hit £6.2bn

By admin

Lloyd’s has fallen to an £877m loss for 2020 and reported its fourth yearly underwriting deficit as Covid-19 claims hit £6.2bn.

The result, which compares to a £2.53bn profit in 2019, comprises an underwriting loss of £2.86bn and net investment income of $2.27bn. Lloyd’s posted an underwriting loss of £538m in 2019.

The market’s combined ratio stood at 110.3 percent last year, compared to 102.1 percent in 2019.

The Covid-19 claims resulted in net incurred pandemic losses of £3.43bn after reinsurance recoveries. These claims added 13.3 percent to Lloyd’s’ combined ratio, which would have hit 97 percent otherwise.

Excluding Covid-19 losses, Lloyd’s said it would have delivered an underwriting profit of £800m.

Major claims totalled £5.97bn last year net of reinsurance and including reinstatements payable and receivable, from £1.8bn in 2019.

With Covid-19 accounting for nearly 60 percent of the major claims, the remainder was mostly from catastrophe events.

Lloyd’s secured premium rate increases of 10.8 percent last year, with rate momentum continuing in the first quarter of 2021.

Gross written premiums (GWP), however, fell a touch to £35.47bn from £35.9bn in 2019.

“Exceptional market conditions, driven by an acceleration in positive rate momentum throughout 2020, saw the market achieve average risk-adjusted rate increases on renewal business of 10.8 percent. This was offset by a 12 percent reduction in GWP due to the remediation of underperforming business in 2020, reflecting the market’s continued focus on the quality of the business it renews and underwrites,” said Lloyd’s.

The market’s expense ratio improved 1.5 percent to 37.2 percent in 2020 and Lloyd’s said it remains a key focus. It added that its Future at Lloyd’s Blueprint Two solutions and delivery programme are central to tackling total acquisition costs and administration expenses.

Lloyd’s’ net resources increased to £33.94bn in 2020, with its central and market-wide solvency ratios at 209 percent and 147 percent respectively.

Lloyd’s CEO John Neal said: “Following an extremely challenging year marked by a global health crisis of a scale never seen before, Lloyd’s continued to support its customers, with payouts expected to total £6.2bn in Covid-19 claims.

The year was also marked by a high frequency of natural catastrophe claims and the UK’s formal exit from the EU, driving further losses and uncertainty.

“Against this unprecedented backdrop, we have made good progress across our performance, digitalisation and culture-transformation plans. Our disciplined underwriting approach and determination to become the world’s most advanced insurance marketplace have set us up for real success this year, alongside the continued positive rate momentum that will see the market supporting growth for the first time in four years,” he added.

REGIC to leverage on digital transformation – Agili

By admin

The Managing Director of Royal Exchange General Insurance Company (REGIC), Mr. Benjamin Agili has affirmed that his company will leverage on its digital transformation strategies on the retailing of the general insurance market in Nigeria.

Speaking during an interactive session with insurance reporters in Lagos, he stated,  “we at Royal Exchange General see the enormous potential in the retail insurance space in Nigeria and will deploy various products, strategies and tools to ensure we can effectively operate in the retail space and be a dominant player therein.

According to him, “REGIC recently implemented a new insurance software, of which we are already seeing the impact with greater turnaround times, and as a company, we are able to respond faster to our clientele”

“We have been able to automate our processes, technical operations and the claims process, all in a bid to ensure we are able to respond faster to clients at all times”.

“Royal Exchange General Insurance Company (REGIC) has also developed a new e-business portal for the sale of our retail insurance products and this is currently undergoing beta-testing and user-acceptance tests before being launched to the general public”

In addition, we are also developing a mobile application that will give our clients the ability to purchase products anytime, anywhere and this will be available for download from the Apple and Google stores”.

“This gives our customers the freedom to choose. The mobile app will also come with other features that will make it relevant for everyday use”, he added.

“The essence of going digital for Royal Exchange General Insurance is to improve our customers experience, improve accessibility to make insurance purchases for the general public, while ensuring that we work faster and smarter as a company, the MD noted.

He stated further that “this digital journey for REGIC has entailed a huge financial outlay, one that we believe REGIC will benefit from in the years to come as the world goes digital. Digital is the future and we strongly believe in offering services to our clients in a digital world”.

Royal Exchange General Insurance Company started operations in 1921 and continues to be driven by innovation and a determination to offer services that are of exceptional value to its customers. In October 2019 REGIC concluded her first successful equity investment of USD$10 million from the InsuResilience Investment Fund (IIF) of German Development Bank (Kfw) in exchange for a 39.25 percent stake in REGIC..

REGIC, as part of her business diversification strategy has made significant progress in championing product innovations, all aimed at increasing its competitiveness in the marketplace. Our corporate renewal and operational transformation is targeted at building an enduring insurance company of tomorrow; one which is able to innovate and build on its heritage to remain a business leader in the sector.

51m Nigerians enroll for NIN–FG * Total SIM registration hits 189m * Says those without NIN risk 7 or 14-yrs imprisonment

By Favour Nnabugwu

THE Federal Government said 51 million Nigerians have so far completed their enrollment in the ongoing National Identity Number, NIN in the country

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, who disclosed this during the ministerial organized by the Presidential Media Team at the State House, Abuja, said 189 million Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) have been registered in the country.

The Minister said ut of the number, 150 million have completed registration while the remainder have problems of improper registration.

The Minister warned that those yet to obtain their NIN, risk seven or 14 years imprisonment as stipulated by the Nigerian Constitution.

He noted that while obtaining a SIM card maybe optional, NIN is mandatory, stressing that a lot of transactions in the country was not supposed to be carried out without NIN.

He explained that NIN will determine the total number of Nigerians that have registered because of the unique number.

He assured that in the next two years the administration would have a complete data base of every citizen and residents in the country.

He even said by law it was an offence for any one to collect pension or voters card without having the NIN.

Pantami said while owning a SIM card is optional, the NIN is mandatory as a lot of transactions are not supposed to be carried out without NIN.

The registration became mandatory following the federal government’s directive asking telcos to block sum cards that are not linked to NIN.

The federal government had extended the deadline to January 19, 2021, for subscribers with NIN to link it with their SIM, and February 9, 2021, for those without NIN.

The deadline has now been extended to April 6.

AXA Mansard launches Business Insurance Plan for SMEs

By Favour Nnabugwu

AXA Mansard Insurance PLC, a member of the AXA Group and global leader in insurance and asset management has  launch ‘Business Insurance Plan’ for Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs in the country.

The Business Insurance Plan (BIP) is a one-stop insurance solution that addresses the business risk exposures of small and medium enterprises. It is a pot-pourri of highly beneficial insurance risks management solutions bundled together.

These solutions include Business Content, Group Personal Accident, SME Life, Health Care, Public Liability, Optional Covers, Professional Indemnity, Comprehensive Motor, Stock and General Conditions.

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of the companyMr Kunle Ahmed stated, “Our aim is to deliver the appropriate solutions for small to medium enterprises at a competitive price. It is our expectation that this product will enable the SMEs hedge the risks they face and focus on strategizing and growing their businesses knowing that they are protected.”

With 17.4 million SMEs in Nigeria, the role they play in the growth & development cannot be overemphasized. They are a significant force in reducing unemployment and accelerating GDP growth. We are therefore very excited to be able to provide this innovative solution that ensures they continue to thrive.

The Chief Client Officer, Mrs Rashidat Adebisi stated that “the driving force behind the development of this product is AXA’s purpose which is to “Act for human progress by protecting what matters”. At AXA Mansard, we care about people and their businesses, therefore we constantly listen, think and innovate.”

AXA Mansard is registered as a composite company with the National Insurance Commission of Nigeria (NAICOM). The Company offers life and non-life insurance products and services to individuals and institutions across Nigeria whilst also offering asset/investment management services and health insurance solutions through- AXA Mansard Investments Limited and AXA Mansard Health Limited respectively. The parent company was listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange in November 2009.

FG to recover N5.2trn debt owe by individuals, companies

By Favour Nnabugwu
The Federal Government has conclude all plan to recover N5.2 trillion debt owed by some individuals and firms, following the approval of the second phase of the Project Lighthouse.
The project was approved by the VP Yemi Osinbajo-led Federal Executive Council on Wednesday. This was confirmed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, in a television interview after the council met.
The Project Lighthouse is a data engine that collects, integrates and analyzes data from revenue-generating agencies in order to create insightful information for improved decision-making.
It has brought together data from the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, the Nigeria Customs Service, the Corporate Affairs Commission, as well as data from the Central Bank of Nigeria, in one central point.
Ahmed explained that the contract sum for the project awarded to Charterhouse Consulting was N316.5 million after the first phase was awarded to the company in May 2019.
She said, “It is one major area that we have witnessed remarkable progress in terms of recovery of debt owed to government.
Generally, revenue loopholes have been aided by poor information sharing and enforcement. So, this project Lighthouse shows that many companies and individuals who owe government agencies have refused to honour their obligations yet are still being engaged and transacted with and even being paid on governments payment platforms like the TSA.
The Ministry in 2019, issued a directive to all MDAs to aggregate and send to the ministry a list of all debtors and the outstanding amount they owe to all government agencies. This we have put together in one central point that we call Project Lighthouse.
Since that time, we have been able to aggregate N5.2 trillion worth of debt that are being owed government by third parties.
As at today, we have been able to recover about N49.7 billion of this amount through the effort and working that we have been carrying out with Project Lighthouse and we are still compiling.”
According to her, the ministry was able to get land registry data from three states – the FCT, Kaduna State, as well as from Lagos state – while others would join in the second phase.
She added that the project had enabled the ministry to identify revenues that government could collect using the common platform.