25 defaulting employers pay  N446.2m penalty to PenCom in Q1 2021

By Favour Nnabugwu


Not less than 25 dataulting employers were made to pay a penalty of N446.2million to the  National Pension Commission (PenCom) as the Commission recovered N608.6million in the first quarter of 2021

Out of total figure of N608.554,747.59 representing principal contribution N162,385,260.05 and penalty N446,169,487.54 from 25 defaulting employers.

PenCom on its website, stated that the recovery was made following the issuance of demand notices to defaulting employers whose pension liabilities had been established by the Recovery Agents (RAs).

The pension industry regulator noted that within the period, it also received a total of 14,741 applications from private sector organisations for the issuance of Pension Clearance Certificates (PCCs).

Out of that number, it said PCCs were issued to 9,299 organisations while 5,442 applications were being processed. The records show that a total sum of N41,971,011,350.51 was remitted into the Retirement Savings Accounts of 163,286 employees of the 9,299 organisations, it submitted.

Insurance industry needs more constructive engagement between operators, authorities – NCRIB Exe-Sec

By Favour Nnabugwu



Tope Adaramola is the current Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB).  Adaramola talks on his continuous relationship with the Media. On the interview with Edit Udoh, The Revealer, he speaks on his plans which he emphasised must really with the Council overall strategy. A branded Public Relation intends to build NCRIB relationship with other stakeholders and makes the broking arm a pride in the industry  


What is the margic wand of your growth from a Public Relation man to Executive Secretary of NCRIB?

Firstly, l give God Almighty the glory through my journey. Secondly, with determination to succeed in my daily work diligently and learning and studying to update my knowledge always.

I started my career at a radio station shortly after my national youth service programme in 1991, and from 1991-1998, I was in government service, specifically covering the government house as the Press Secretary which also necessitated that I take up the role of a compare for State House activities.

I joined the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) in 1998, as the second Public Relations practitioner in the industry after Mr. A. W.K Bello who was my predecessor and part of my responsibilities was also to compare at events. So, at that level,  will handle the Annual General Meeting (AGM), visitation for my Board as well as the secretariat and I also handled committee meetings of different shades in the NIA. I became a little name after the Director-General of NIA but afterwards, I began to handle major events of the industry and even the profession outside the industry at my convenience. So I can say that the secret is the product of repetitive actions and diligence.

Did you at any point eye the post of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB)?

I came with the mindset of joining others to give value to broking practice. When I was on the other side of the divide, that is Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, But when I came in here, I changed the narrative. Although there was a whole gamut of challenges I met on ground, the institution was very weak and fragile, and many operators will not even like to touch the Council with a long pole.

But by coincidence or God’s design, I worked with the President that was very progressive. That was Prince (Dr) Feyisayo Soyewo (MFR) under whose tenure I joined NCRIB. At that time, we did not have much and the Secretariat and the Council were evolving with only very few notable people around that could identify what the Council was and it robed on the solvency of the Council, paying salaries was a big deal, talk less of any oversea trip or any opportunity even for staff.

But with prayers, diligence, commitment to purpose, I took a lot of the heat of the Public Relations perspective because I have always believed that the problem of brokers at that time was reputational. Give any organization a good reputation, it’s like rubbing honey on the surface and before you know it, Ant will start gathering around it. Image is like that and I started to covert it through constructive engagement with the media, and being a PR person, I have got a good relationship with my media friends and I also reach out to members and made them realized that am here and you can leverage on my PR expertise.

So, we became a very vocal voice in the industry that a lot of industry operators were wondering whether this was the NCRIB that they used to know.  As time progresses, people began to reckon with the Council.  Today we are even refusing the proposal of people that we find are not fit and proper to join us which is the barometer for you to test the reputational value that we already have now.

As a Public Relations person, I only came in just to do my best to enhance value and I burnt the candlelight. I deployed my skill. I use my time to ensure that what I set out to achieve on daily basis were achieved and several times, I closed very late to ensure that this Council is where it is today. Why I am here today, it was by sheer providence that God made the leadership of the Council under the leadership of Dr (Mrs) Bola Onigbogi, the second female President of the Council to consider my capability as well as the longevity of stay and experience with diligence commitment and someone that has a perfect understanding of the dynamics of the operational system.

Looking at your long standing relationship with the Media, can journalists still have access to you now that you are the Executive Secretary of NCRIB,?

There can never be a change because the role of the Public Relations Practitioner that I used to be that I am still is, is to assist and energize the Chief Executivr Officer and the greatest challenge that any Public Relations person can face is when you have a CEO that lacks understanding of public relations practice.

It will be a golden period for the NCRIB and media relationship because you have a person here who has maintained Public Relations and Media Relations although his career is the platform upon which God exposed me to becoming the CEO. I have no other constituency than the media so I cannot afford to destroy my relationship with the media.

What are your plans for the Council as Executive Secretary/CEO?

I must tailored my plans to go in line plans of the leadership of the Council. But, however, I agree that as a CEO, I have some form of leverage and that the board, as well as the leadership of the Council, will also be looking at me to help them or assist them as usual in driving their tenure for them to be successful.  So, one of the things that I realized which I just told you is the fact that for any professional body like ours to succeed, the relationship is key. So this my tenure by the grace of God will anchor on relationship, we will be looking at what are those things that excite our members and what are those things that put them off. We will be looking at our records, ten years ago how many people were here with us? Today how many are still with us? How many have fallen on the wayside? What made them to fall? We will be looking at engaging our members regularly and scientifically on what exactly they expect from us as value.

That’s number one. So the relationship is both internal and external. On external, we have even started the engagements because there is no professional body that will be successful when you operate in isolation. We are surrounded by other strategic stakeholders and allied professions that we have to reach out to. As am speaking to you now, we have started reaching out to some of them, Institute for Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) for instance is one of the most renowned professional bodies that we have in Nigeria.

We have extended our tentacle of relationship.  Very soon our secretariat will visit their secretariat. Our Council President will also visit their Council President. We are doing a similar thing to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. We are doing so for the Institute of Personnel Management. And why are we doing all these? These are individual professionals which are bonded under those associations with which insurance brokers who are our members ultimately will relate. Take, for example, you want to go and broker a company, the most delighted person you are going to find there is probably the accountant or the head of finance who will engage you and if this person does not have an understanding of what you do then how will you help your members.

The same thing for the Nigerian Institute for Public Relations; and of course you know the National Insurance Commission is a very pivotal institution that we must direct their attention to and continue to drum in the ears of our leadership which they know we have to relate perfectly with.

Brokers are sick and tired of being at the background and they have also reached out to the Nigeria Economic Summit Group so that they can be invited and given a role to play. But it all starts at the point of engagement, so that is why I say this administration will anchor on the relationship.

We have a-three layer relationship: the first one is internal which is at home, the second one is external within the confine of Nigeria the third one is the international relationship which we must maintain.

We are positioning ourselves to be an authoritative voice in the industry starting with brokers. If you come to our Council today, we already have a Research Department in place which, of course, is in sync with what I am trusting God to do now. If you want to have statistic or figure of how many brokers do we have in Nigeria or you want to have the figure of the brokerage income per year so that when you play around all these then the industry would have protected itself by being highly professional and highly respected rather than how we have been doing it before.

For the staff, you know as being one of them the barrier of we are going to be dealing with a strange person is not there. So while we maintain discipline, we also make them know that this is your own so that everybody owns it. We are making them realize that look if all of us do well here, there will be no need to bring somebody from outside, but if we don’t own it and if you allow the present secretariat leadership to fail, then definitely all of us have failed because they will say when we gave one of you opportunity what did you do with it?

So How many brokers do we have in Nigeria today?

As of today, we have 450 brokers in Nigeria that are financially up to date but you know we can only talk of now because even this morning more papers will be coming in for some of them who want to come and activate their membership but I can only talk of the moment.

What is the way forward for the insurabce industry?

Let me first salute the present leadership of the National Insurance Commission,. Nsicom,  under the Commissioner for Insurance (CFI),  Mr. Olorundare Sunday Thomas as well as other constituent bodies’ leadership including NCRIB, NIA and even the Institute of Loss Adjusters (ILAN) because where the industry was yesterday is not where it is today. In terms of innovation, in terms of creativity, even though there is still room for improvement. Today,we may not know the value of what we hold in our hands but outsiders know that is why you now have a foray of foreign investors who are coming into the industry even at the level of broking and in the level of the underwriter.

Foreign and major investors who are renowned to be bankers and investment people before coming into the industry. It shows that there is something about this industry that many of us have not seen and it is quite positive for the industry. However, the industry should be able to sit down and tidy itself from the home front. There must be more constructive engagements between the operators and the authorities.

The industry needs to be more consensual in what it wants to do. Let there be a consensus. Let there be sufficient stakeholders engagements before policies are enunciated so there won’t be backlashes like some of the things we are having now.

I want to also use this medium to especially appreciate the leadership of NCRIB under Dr (Mrs.) Bola Onigbogi deemed it necessary for us to look this way in terms of this secretariat leadership. It takes a very determined and a very resolute person against all odds to do that so I thank her and I also thank all members of her team including the management and the board of Council.


FG extends NIN-SIM deadline to July 26

By Favour Nnabugwu



The Federal Government has approved the extension of the deadline for NIN-SIM data verification to July 26, 2021.

The Director, Public Affairs Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde; and the Head, Corporate Communications, Nigeria Identity Management Commission, Kayode Adegoke, disclosed this in a joint statement on Monday titled ‘FG approves July 26 as NIN-SIM verification deadline as enrolment systems increase to 5,410 .’

According to the statement, “The decision to further extend the deadline was made based on a request by stakeholders.

The statement read, “The Federal Government has approved the extension of the deadline for NIN-SIM data verification to the 26th of July, 2021.

“The decision to extend the deadline was made after a request by stakeholders on the need to consolidate the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process following the rapid increase in the number of enrolment systems across the country.

As at June 28, 2021, a total of 5,410 enrolment systems are now available across the country and this would significantly ease the NIN enrolment process and subsequent linkage of NIN to SIM. It is worthy of note that there were only about 800 such enrolment systems as at December 2020.

“The Federal Government has approved the extension as part of its efforts to make it easier for its citizens and residents to obtain the NIN and it is important to take advantage of the extension.

Nigeria, Dubai flight delay caused by discriminatory protocols – Sirika

By Favour Nnabugwu


Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has said that the reason why Nigeria and Dubai resumption with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is discriminatory nature of protocols introduced by the Emirati authorities.

Sirika, in his update, during the briefing by the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19, on Monday, June 28, 2021, in Abuja said the protocol appeared to be targeted at only Nigerians, added that it was discriminatory and not backed up scientifically.

He explained that UAE insisted that all passengers intending to visit its country must use Emirates Airline or spend two weeks in the alternative carrier’s country before gaining entrance to Dubai.

According to the Minister, if a Nigerian buys a ticket in a free market which Nigeria and UAE practice on Ethiopian Airline, that means he or she must remain in Addis Ababa for two weeks whether they have a visa or not before proceeding to Dubai.

This means the UAE was subtly insisting that Nigerians must fly by Emirates, a position the country found to be discriminatory and not acceptable.

Sirika dismissed suggestions that the continuous delay in the resumption of flights was ego related, but stated that both countries were in talks to resolve the matter.

He said  Emirates was not the only airline caught up in something of this nature as other airlines which Nigeria had also meted same treatment out to saw reason and adjusted.

He explained, “After review, some of the airlines, especially KLM, saw sense with what Nigeria presented which is that you can do the test 48 hours to 72 hours before you leave and do another test on arrival.

“Emirates at that time wanted us to do the test 48 hours before boarding and 48 hours is not yet the incubation time. They expect us to do a rapid test at the airport and then fly seven hours later and do another test in Dubai and then follow us to our hotel or our accommodation and do another test.

“That dragged on and in the interest of our people and cordial relationship, even though it is a commercial decision for the airline to take at any point in time, we ceded and accepted that we would do those tests that doesn’t make scientific sense to us at the expense of our people and our monies.

“We accepted what Emirates presented and proceeded even though KLM and other airlines saw our reasons and rationale and towed the line of Nigeria. In this case, Emirates insisted again that in addition to the test on arrival and other tests that Nigerians cannot fly to UAE except through Emirates airline.

“And that if we choose to do so through other airlines like Ethiopia, Qatar, Turkish or other airlines, we must remain in the country of that airline for two weeks if we are Nigerians before we continue to Dubai.

“Meaning that if I buy my ticket in a free market which Nigeria and UAE practices, if I buy a ticket on Ethiopian Airline, that means I must remain in Addis Ababa for two weeks whether I have a visa or not before I proceed to Dubai.

“So, they insisted that we must fly by Emirates and majority of Nigerians are petty traders and the ticket of Emirates, in this case, may be higher than other airlines.’’

He said,”It is only one aviation and we found this position to be discriminatory against our country and it is not acceptable.

We thought we could take it diplomatically and we have been meeting and exchanging ideas because at some point, they said they are being hard on Nigerians because there are fake results.

And I said there are fake results in UAE, Germany, UK, USA, all over the world, there are fake results but Nigeria went ahead to put measures in place to detect fake results.

So, we have gone the extra mile plus if you look at the rate of infection and the rate of people catching COVID-19 in Nigeria, we are far less than many other countries in the world which UAE did not apply that principle upon.”

Recall that the UAE authorities in Dubai had on June 19, announced a revision in procedures for international passengers coming from Nigeria, the Republic of India, and South Africa.

In the newly announced procedures, the authorities said it would ease restrictions and confirmed that Emirate Airlines would start carrying passengers from the countries with effect from June 23.

The Emirates Airline, however, on June 21, announced a fresh suspension of flights to and from Nigeria, in line with the directives from the UAE authorities.

PTAD receives £26.5m repatriated pension fund

By Favour Nnabugwu




The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has received a repatriated pension fund of £26.5million from Crown Agents Investment Management Limited, United Kingdom.

The total pension fund received by PTAD is £26,505,862.97 (Twenty Six Million, Five Hundred and Five thousand, Eight hundred and Sixty-two Pounds, Ninety-Seven Pence) repatriated from the United Kingdom.

These pension funds had hitherto been under investment with Crown Agents Investment Management Limited, United Kingdom

The Executive Secretary, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme stated that the repatriation of this fund was made possible by the approval of President Mohammadu Buhari and series of meetings between PTAD Management, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Crown Agents Investment Management Limited, United Kingdom

The Executive Secretsry further noted that  the funds will be used to settle part of the accrued arrears owed to its pensioners worth over N120 billion (One hundred and Twenty Billion Naira only).

Ejikeme also added that the development is indeed a very happy and welcome development for our Senior Citizens and it represents another demonstration of the importance that the Buhari led Federal Government places on the welfare of pensioners.