C’ River: Retirees block Ayade’s office over unpaid Pension, 8 years Gratuity

By Favour Nnabugwu


Retirees in Cross River state today blocked the governor’s office to protest their unpaid Pension and eight years Gratuity .

The pensioners who prevented vehicular movement into the governor’s office said they were tired of hearing stories everytime they asked for their entitlement.

Speaking with Vanguard , Chairman of Nigerian Union of Pensioners,NUP, Calabar branch ,Dr Eyo Eyo said it was quite unfortunate the way retirees were being treated since July 2013 .

His words :” It will interest you to know that many of us have not received our gratuity as far back as July 2013 .

“Many of us were last paid pension in 2020 , while some 99 percent of us are being owed since September ,we don’t understand the logic behind selective payment of pension and gratuity .

“Interestingly , many of the pensioners collect as low as 4,000 ,some get 7,500 while others get a little above 15,000 to 20000 which is amongst the highest ,why are they still being owed .

“We have appealed severally to government and at this point ,we are tired of writing ,they are claiming that the governor is not aware of our plight ,well we have brought ourselves to his door post ,we need money for upkeep ,many have died ,countless are bedridden are are dying daily .

” We are in a sorry situation,look at one of us in the floor ,he just collapsed , because he last had a good meal on Thursday morning , we have written countless letters to the governor through Organised Labour ,we decided to come on our own ,to make our position known today.

“We are aware that the governor is having a meeting at the State House of Assembly with some important visitors including governors,Minister but we rather wait at the office for him because we respect him so much ,” he said.

A retiree ,Etinyin Francis Henshaw who said their condition has become appalling adding that the governor does not have regards for old people as well as senior citizens .

“Many of the people I retired with are either dead or bedridden ,I’m greatful to be alive and healthy, the way we are being treated is so unfair , we can no longer bear it anymore,”he said .

Addressing the retirees , Permanent Secretary , Governor’s Office( Special Duties), Dr Alfred Mboto said it was unfortunate that the situation has degenerated like this .

Mboto said : “I came and saw you my mothers and my fathers. Truly speaking I know that you had wanted to see the the Governor directly, but right now as we speak, he is in a meeting at the house of Assembly.

“Truly I have seen your plight, and I can say that No body will see this and not understand that you are in pain. But I am assuring you that we will do everything possible to address your demands. The issue of pension affects all of us, I have how many years now, and I will join you people.

“And so, anybody who is this way and is not supporting the payment of retirees entitlements, I do not think that person is reasonable.The Truth is that government is doing everything possible to make sure that the pension and gratuities are paid,” Mboto said.

Meanwhile ,one of the retirees who slumped during the protest could not be revived ,he was however rushed to the hospital by Permanent Secretary ,Dr Alfred Mboto for further treatment.

Findings show that the present money owed pensioners in gratuity currently stands at 47billion naira which includes pensioners at both Local Government and State Civil Service .

Further findings also revealed that over 70 percent of the workforce in Cross River would be retiring in 2023 which further deepens the debt burden of the retirees .

In a related development ,Organised Labour has vowed to make sure workers remain at home until government begins implementation of all that will be agreed on by both parties ( Government & Organized Labour) as the strike enters day 24.

Willis Towers Watson to acquire remaining 51% in WTW India

By admin.

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has signed an agreement to acquire the remaining 51% shares in Willis Towers Watson India Insurance Brokers (WTW India) from Anemone Holdings and Rohit Jain.

WTW currently owns 49% of WTW India and recent changes in regulation have made it possible for WTW to own up to 100% of WTW India, said the broker. The transaction remains subject to customary legal and regulatory approvals.

Pamela Thomson-Hall, head of international, WTW, said: “As one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies, with an expected 17% growth rate in the non-life insurance market over the next five years, we see rising demand and opportunities for cyber, health and benefits, crop and surety insurance in the Indian market.

Acquiring 100% ownership of WTW India will enable us to further capitalise on the significant growth opportunities in this market and to better serve the rapidly evolving needs of our clients in India.”

She added: “The Covid-19 crisis has underscored the vital role of risk management and insurance in protecting and strengthening businesses’ and communities’ resilience to pandemic shock in emerging markets such as India. We are committed to the Indian market and see that we can play a significant role to help raise the underpenetration of insurance and close the protection gap as the country needs.”

Jain, head of India, WTW, said: “These are unprecedented times for humanity and businesses, especially the risks that confront both. Emerging forms of risks like climate change, pandemic, cyber threats and the growing health-wealth gap demand immediate and comprehensive solutions that address risk mitigation, incident response and compensation for loss.

WTW already has a significant presence in India and this acquisition is another important milestone towards bringing our clients best-in-class products and solutions, technology and unprecedented insight for sound risk-based decision making

AIG returns to underwriting profit in Q3 2021

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AIG has reported adjusted pre-tax net income of $1.13bn for Q3 2021, with general insurance almost doubling its contribution to $811m and returning to underwriting profit of $20m after a loss of $423m for Q3 last year.

AIG said “elevated” cat losses of $628m in Q3 2021, mainly from exposure to Hurricane Ida and European floods, were 21% lower than cat losses of $790m in Q3 2020, which included $185m in Covid-19 claims.

The quarter closed with a combined ratio of 99.7%, improving from 107.2% in Q3 2020, after lower cat losses and stronger underwriting results, as well as commercial lines benefiting from premium growth and rate increases.

AIG president and CEO Peter Zaffino said AIG’s general insurance performance reflects “the underwriting discipline now embedded in our culture and the benefits of our volatility reduction efforts through a well-articulated risk appetite and reinsurance programme that performed well”.

However, overall underwriting profits were largely driven by gains in personal lines in North America and international business. North America commercial lines recorded further underwriting losses of $503m for Q3 2021, from $153m last year, and was running a combined ratio of 120%; while international commercial lines reported underwriting losses of $94m, improved from a loss of $148m in Q3 2020.

General insurance net premiums increased by 11% during the quarter to $6.6bn, driven by commercial lines, which increased premiums by 17% to $4.65bn. That was based on improved levels of retention but also “outstanding” levels of new business and strong rates, AIG said

Allianz, AXA and Axis best performers in climate change underwriting ranking

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Allianz, AXA and Axis Capital rank as the top three insurers for fossil fuel underwriting commitments in a new scorecard by climate change campaign group Insure Our Future, with AXA and Scor joint top when it comes to investment, followed by Allianz.

The scorecard ranks 30 leading insurers on fossil fuel underwriting, investment and other climate leadership. It is based on survey responses from 17 of the companies and on publicly available information where insurers failed to reply.

It finds that Allianz is leading on ending fossil fuel insurance, with a score of 4.7 out of 10. AXA is in second on 4.6 and AXIS Capital is third on 3.9. The score mostly reflects moves to stop covering coal, with Insure Our Future noting that only AXA and Generali have adopted restrictions on conventional oil and gas.

The top ten insurers for fossil fuel underwriting is completed with Swiss Re in fourth, followed by Zurich, Hannover Re, Mapfre, Generali, Scor and QBE.

The scorecard takes into account new policies announced by AXA and Lloyd’s of London in the last few days.

AXA’s new restrictions on conventional oil and gas production increased its underwriting score, but only marginally as Insurance Our Future said the policy allows the company to continue insuring more than 50% of planned oil and gas expansion. The new policy saw AXA’s fossil fuel insurance score increase from 4.2 to 4.6. Its investment score increases from 4.4 to 5.4.

Insure Our Future said Japanese and Korean insurers are starting to follow Europe’s lead and have stronger coal policies than most US firms. Chinese insurers remain laggards. However, the Chinese government’s decision to stop building coal power plants overseas likely spells the end of their insurers’ support for new coal projects outside China, according to Insure Our Future.

Its scorecard ranks Lloyd’s 16th on underwriting with a score of just 0.9. Lloyd’s announced last week it is joining the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) and committed to transition its underwriting portfolio to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest.

But Insure Our Future actually reduced Lloyd’s fossil fuel underwriting and investment scores following the news because it believes the market has actually removed concrete commitments for its syndicates, which are now able to decide individually how best to proceed.

Chubb is 19th in the underwriting ranking on 0.7 and AIG is joint last with a score of zero. Insure Our Future points out that AIG, Berkshire Hathaway, Convex, Everest Re, PICC, Sinosure, Travelers and W.R. Berkley have no fossil fuel underwriting restrictions at all.

Chinese insurers PICC and Sinosure also ranked joint last, but their future underwriting may be constrained by the Chinese government’s new commitments on coal, which is not currently reflected in their scores, said Insure Our Future.

When it comes to divesting from fossil fuels, Scor and AXA are joint top on 5.5, followed by Allianz in third on 4.4. Swiss Re, Zurich, AXIS Capital and Generali also score well.

Of the 30 companies, 19 have coal divestment policies. While 14 had some oil and gas restrictions, most were restricted to tar sands. Ten insurers have no fossil fuel divestment policies.

On other climate leadership metrics, Aviva, Allianz and AXA score highest in that order. They are among the eight founding members of the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance that have committed to align their underwriting and investments with a 1.5°C pathway.

Twenty insurers scored no points in this part of the scorecard, including all US and Asian insurers and Lloyd’s of London.

Plane tickets set to increase due to rising oil prices – IATA

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Plane tickets are set to become more expensive as a result of rising crude oil prices and labour costs, warned head of the International Air Transport Association, IATA.

“The issue that will impact fares in the short to medium-term will be the high price of oil, that continues to remain stubbornly high and increased charges by ANSPs and airports,” said Willie Walsh, the director general of AITA.

“Higher oil prices will reflect in ticket prices,” Mr Walsh said. “Where airlines have made huge losses in recent years, it’s impossible to absorb increases and will have to be passed on to consumers and will have to be reflected in the pricing, he said during an online media briefing monitored by Persecondnews.com

Mr Walsh said. The industry has no choice but to reflect this into plane ticket prices.”

Rising oil prices will add pressure on airlines’ costs, forcing them to pass on some of that burden to passengers by raising air fares, but will not stall the recovery of carriers, according to the head of the

Global airlines, already battered over the past 20 months by the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit their revenue, are facing stronger oil prices of about $80 per barrel and increasing fees from air navigation service providers (ANSPs) seeking to recoup their own losses.

Oil prices have hit multi-year highs with global supplies constrained while demand is rising as developed economies rebound faster than expected from the coronavirus-induced slowdown. Brent, the global benchmark under which two thirds oil trades, has gained more than 60 per cent since the start of the year and was trading at $82.87 a barrel at 3.30pm Nigerian time on Wednesday.

Fuel typically makes up 25 per cent of an airline’s cost. Global carriers will shoulder total accumulative losses of $201 billion in the period between 2020 to 2022, as a result of the pandemic that brought air travel to a halt, according to Iata’s latest industry report in October.

The higher pricing will reflect airlines’ cost of operations, rather than a supply-demand dynamic, Mr Walsh said.

Underwriting facility eyes geothermal development in Kenya, Ethiopia

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The UK Government’s financial sector program FSD Africa and Parhelion, a UK-based specialist energy and climate risk finance advisory firm, are to launch an underwriting facility aimed at helping de-risk the early-stage development of geothermal energy projects in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Kenya’s power demand is growing 20% faster than GDP, while recent annual growth rates of around 10% in Ethiopia imply a similar increase in energy demand.

Geothermal power plants, while having shown potential as an alternative and more sustainable energy source, are held back by high upfront investment requirements and the risk of drilling wells that are found to be commercially unviable.

Parhelion will work with East African insurers to create an underwriting facility that hopes to mitigate the low probability, high-cost risk of unviable wells.

Parhelion is also planning to launch the GeoFutures Fund, which would invest in nascent geothermal projects.

With support from the program, Parhelion and FSD Africa forecast a 20% increase in geothermal output for Kenya and a 500% rise in Ethiopia.

This is expected to create 2,600 jobs in renewable energy and insurance sectors, while bringing electricity to 5.25 million people who currently live without power.

Coronation Insurance total assets hit N41.2bn in Q3 2021

By Favour Nnabugwu


Coronation Insurance Plc has recorded growth in its total assets to the tune of N41.15 billion for the third quarter ended  September 30, 2021.

This represents an increase of 3.6 percent when compared with N39.72 billion recorded in the comparable period of 2020.

This is contained in the firm’s unaudited interim group financial results, approved by the company’s board of directors, duly signed by the Chairman, Mutiu Sunmonu and the Managing Director, Olamide Olajolo and made available to SUPERNEWS in Lagos.

According to the report, the Coronation Insurance posted a Gross premium written of N11.06 billion within the period compared to N13.26 billion recorded in 2020 while gross premium income stood at N10.37 billion against N12.85 billion posted in the previous year.

Net premium income soared to N6.63 billion compared to N5.54 billion recorded in the comparable period of 2020 while net underwriting income grew to N7.29 billion against N7.25 billion recorded in the third quarter of 2020.

Claims paid within the period rose to N4.16 billion compared to N2.74 billion while net claims expenses N4.24 billion against N2.48 billion recorded in 2020.

Underwriting expenses dropped to N1.94 billion compared to N2.10 billion posted in the comparable period of 2020, while investment income recorded N1.33 billion compared to N765 million recorded in the previous year.

Profit before tax stood at NN685.2 million compared to N1.19 billion posted in the comparable period of 2020 while profit after tax recorded N711.1 million against N992.7 million written in the previous year.

Coronation Insurance Plc is an insurance company in Nigeria licensed to underwrite all classes of life and non-life insurance for the personal, groups, commercial and industrial sectors.

The company has operations in Nigeria and Ghana. General and personal insurance products cover motor, life, investment, yacht, marine and home insurance. Corporate insurance products cover general property insurance, automotive, marine, aviation, all risk, fire and special perils, goods-in-transit and guarantee and liability insurance for the oil and gas, hotel and restaurant, professional firms and associations, manufacturing, education, energy, telecommunication, financial services, trading, religious bodies, contractors, travel agent, real estate and transport sectors. Public sector clients include government ministries and departments, parastatals and agencies. Wapic Insurance Plc was founded in 1958. Its company head office is in Lagos, Nigeria.

Naicom may leave insurers behind on digital portal

By Favour Nnabugwu



The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) may leave insurance companies yet to slign to it portal behind if they fail to hasten up with the commission.

The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr  Sunday Thomas, made this know at the Insurance Professionals’ Forum, organised by the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, adding that the insurance industry is currently lagging behind and needs to reassess its business model, re-evaluate her strategy and make the digital agenda a high priority.

“If this is not done it will be difficult to deliver on customers’ expectations and new entrants, Insurtech Companies and leading digital competitors will take advantage of this weakness. It is time for Insurers to evolve and do the needful”

“This will require a different set of skills, culture and operating model,” he said.

Thomas noted that there is no technology age that does not have its own challenges, stressing that there would be challenges faced by the industry in the digital environment such as; meeting the demands of the multi-generation customer bases.

He submitted that the fast-changing digital space, systems and technologies; would lead to the need to reduce cost; data reliability; legacy technology; workforce training; fraud, dealing with on-demand economy and others.

He said the Commission is desirous of a fully digitized Industry, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption and the use of digital technologies in the Nigerian Insurance sector. “To this extent, On 1st September, 2021, the NAICOM Portal was successfully launched. In order to ensure effective and efficient utilization of the Portal, the Commission directed all Operators to: Integrate, connect and upload five (5) years historical data of all policies issued from 1st January, 2016 to NAICOM Portal on or before 1st March, 2021,” he posited.