Naicom charges ARIAN on contribution to sector growth

By admin


The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has icharged insurance agents Ithe country to make an impact on the growth of insurance industry.

The Commissioner for Insurance, CFI,  Sunday Thomas, stated at the Association of Registered Insurance Agents of Nigeria (ARIAN) training in Lagos.

Represented by the Deputy Commissioner Technical, Abubakar Sabi’u Bello, the CFI emphasized on the role agents play towards the development of the industry in the genealogy of insurance business in Nigeria and charged agents to reposition themselves in the industry and get professionalized towards career development.

The event covered by Inspenonline, has insurance Managers trained by Ashish Mishra, who spoke not just on recruitment, but on retaining the agent, which he stated that it is the only way the business can flourish.

Rector, College of Insurance and Financial Management (CIFM) Dr. Yeside Abiodun, in her lecture, addressed the various stages of examination, starting from the CIIN proficiency exam and diet, adding that agents need to upskill and be professional through the exam.

The Managing Director, Mutual Benefit Assurance Life, Ademola Ifagbayi, spoke on the career path, narrating how he started as an agent in early 90s, but today he is a Managing Director.Participants

He encouraged managers to build a career in the industry and stop selling just for commission.

Gbadebo sitting at the middle

The two term former President of ARIAN, Gbadebo Olamerun, spoke on benefits of being a registered member and emphasized that ARIAN is ready to support any agent who is registered to develop and deliver in their respective company provided they are ready to grow.

He expressed happiness over the success of the training and promised that next year the exco will focus their training more on agents, adding that the process was designed to be a continuous process so that in time to come, the role of agent in the industry will add more value and help in improving the growth of insurance in the country, whilst deepening the penetration and as well add to the country’s GDP.

He also use the opportunity to appreciate all the special guest, facilitators and attendees who participated.

He also applauded the event organising committee and entire exco, for putting in alot of time, resources and commitment to achieve the well appreciated result.

The training which was better referred as training the trainers, had the theme: Exponential Growth in the Insurance Business in our Present Economy.

The training platform was designed to get agents to be knowledgeable about the working of the industry and as well make them understand the rudimentary of professionalism in the business.

Leadway Assurance affirms AA+ by GCR ratings

By Favour Nnabugwu



Leadway Assurance Company Limited has bee affirmed AA+ by  GCR Ratings, a leading African rating agency, on national cale financial strength rating to AA+(NG) from AA-(NG), the second-highest financial credit rating, in their October 2021 Report.

This rating indicates Leadway Assurance’s superior capacity to meet financial commitments and obligations in its insurance and investments businesses. The upgrade is also indicative of the company’s stable and consistently growing outlook.

This outlook is underpinned by the leading insurer’s dominance of the industry’s Gross Written Premium (GWP), with an estimated market share of 9.1 per cent and a relative market share of about 5.4x in FY 2020. According to the rating agency, “Leadway Assurance’s national scale financial strength rating is a reflection of its strong financial profile, strong brand franchise, long track record of over five decades, well-entrenched relationships with brokers, and sustained penetration into the retail segment.”

In addition, GCR also projected their expectations that “Leadway will continue to defend its competitive position despite the increasing competitive dynamics. We expect the insurer’s retail growth strategy to gradually improve premium diversification and earnings capacity, and we also anticipate persistent internal capital generation to support capital growth.”

Speaking on the milestone, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Leadway Assurance, Tunde Hassan-Odukale, stated that “the report further underpins Leadway’s financial strength, enabling us to deliver on our obligations to customers promptly.

We are pleased that the Agency also recognised our industry claims-paying records in the last six consecutive years, with our highest claims paid ever recorded at N43.5bn in 2020; despite the evident and challenging global socio-economic realities on individuals, households, and businesses in 2020 precipitated by coronavirus pandemic and other adverse economic indices.

“The robustness of the company’s balance sheet, which has seen us grow our Total Asset Base by 32% from N396billion in 2019 to N523billion in 2020, was hinged on a strong return on our investment portfolios. With a Board of reputable professionals whose strategic actions are anchored on strong corporate governance, our core values and global best practices, there is assurance of delivering sustainable performance and results.

“As we continue in this new decade, we reaffirm our mission to deliver world-class insurance services to individuals and corporates in Africa. With support from digital transformation, robust risk management tools, innovative solutions and superior financials, our existing and prospective stakeholders can rest assured that we will continually fulfil our quest of “insuring the happiness” of our publics.”

AFCFTA provides Africa with GDP of $3.4 trn — FMITI Minister

By Favour Nnabugwu
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo has said that African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, provides Africa a combined Gross Domestic Product, GDP, of $3.4 trillion.
Adebayo during the subnational strategy workshop, in Abuja yesterday,  theme: “Creating Economically Viable Communities,” organized by the National Action Committee on AfCFTA, in Abuja.
Hevsyated, “AfCFTA will also eliminate tariffs on 90 percent of tradable goods over five years for developing countries and ten years for least developed countries and custom unions.”
He added that it will expand market access for Nigeria’s exporters of goods and services which he noted would in turn, catalyse production growth and boost job creation for the economy.
He stated: “The opportunities we have been presented with by the agreement is access to a single market in Africa with a population of 12 billion people and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $3.4 trillion.
“AfCFTA is also interesting for Nigeria because Africa demands finished goods and Nigeria aspires to Industrialize and progress beyond export of commodities.
The African Continental Free Trade Area can act as a catalyst for Nigeria’s export diversification, by providing preferential access to Nigeria products and services to the huge African market which currently sources over 85 percent of imports from outside the continent.
“It also provides immense opportunities for Nigerian companies to expand to Africa especially in areas of oil and gas, financial services, fintech, tourism services, e-commerce, and manufacturing where we have already developed significant domestic capabilities.”
He noted that the National Action Committee on AfCFTA has completed the development of a National AfCFTA Implementation plan, which he said is currently undergoing adoption in the participating Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, MDAs.
To this end, he enjoined all stakeholders to collaborate with the National Action Committee on AfCFTA on the implementation of the AfCFTA.
In his keynote address, Executive Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said that AfCFTA will provide employment opportunities for Nigerians only if the nation will incorporate consideration for the agreement into its development plans.
He said that AfCFTA has created new business opportunities for multiple sectors in the continent, noting that for Nigeria to be a full beneficiary of these benefits, the nation should embrace trade facilitation.
He said: “With AfCFTA, the country is well on its way to becoming a multisector giant in being a benefactor from benefits such as regional supply chain and job creation.
“However this growth can be achieved better by availing the opportunities enshrined within the AfCFTA with new and improved trade opportunities, creating enhanced regional supply network, domestic job opportunities and capacity building.
“But for Nigeria to benefit fully from these opportunities and position itself competitively, the subnational government should incorporate consideration for the agreement into our development plans.”
According to him, a full plunge into the numerous benefits of the AfCFTA by the Federation will increase direct investment in the economy. He said for this to take effect, ideological limitations are to be broken down for the country to avail itself of these opportunities.
He added that Nigeria has to embrace trade facilitation, saying that it will only happen when “our regulatory bodies change their mentality of how they see the nation’s state and the artificial borders that we create for ourselves.  Trade facilitation is what will make AfCFTA work better in our environment.”
Fayemi assured that the Nigeria Governors Forum will continue to partner with the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement towards the implementation of the subnational strategic plan at the same time calling for the domestication of the agreement which was signed in July 2019 for implementation at the subnational level.
Agric Minister Seeks AfDB’s Support to Recapitalise Bank of Agriculture

By Favour Nnabugwu


The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Mohammad Abubakar, has called on the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support the recapitalisation of Nigeria’s Bank of Agriculture (BOA).

According to a statement on the ministry’s website, both parties have agreed to set up a task force team to develop a plan for accelerated implementation within the next 60 days during a delegation he led to the president, AFDB’s office in Abidjan.

Abubakar said his consultative mission to Abidjan was at the instruction of President Buhari.

“Our mission is to examine ways Nigeria could enhance food production, lower food prices, and create wealth,” the minister said.
Abubakar welcomed the bank’s proposed strategy to support Nigeria’s food production and described it as a landmark one that would spur Nigeria’s food supply production.

“It will reverse the ugly trend of a sharp increase in prices of food in the country. I am pleased with the bank’s strategy to facilitate the production of nine million metric tonnes of food in Nigeria and to support us in raising self-sufficiency. The bank’s Special Agro-Processing Zones initiative is a laudable one and Nigeria is grateful,” she said.

Abubakar thanked the Bank for its support and said the meeting gave him reassurances of what Nigeria can achieve with the bank’s support in the farming seasons ahead.

Earlier, the President of AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said that the bank’s strategic support for Nigeria’s food production would be hinged on five factors: support, scale, systemic, speed, and sustainability.

He added, “I want to assure President Buhari that the African Development Bank will provide his government with very strong support to tackle the country’s food security challenges.”

Adesina urged the Nigerian Agric Minister to concentrate on building the correct team and tactics to optimise the country’s farming seasons, saying that dramatically increased food output will result in lower food prices, which will in turn lower inflation rates.

Citing successes in Sudan, Adesina explained how the AfDB supported the country with 65,000 metric tonnes of heat-tolerant wheat varieties, cultivated on 317,000 hectares.

In response to Bank successes in Sudan and Ethiopia, Abubakar said: “This gives me an additional measure of confidence. If you can do it in Sudan, you can equally do it in Nigeria. Not just in wheat, but also rice, maize, and soybeans.”

Adesina said: “The task, responsibility, and challenge of feeding Nigeria rest on your shoulders. You will receive maximum support from me, and the African Development Bank for the responsibility that President Buhari has given you. You will not be alone.”

He added: “The bank stands ready to fully support and help Nigeria in the next farming seasons. So, we must make sure things turn around. The president must succeed, and Nigeria must succeed. Agriculture must succeed.

Flour Mills buys First Bank’s stake in Honeywell

By Favour Nnabugwu


Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and Honeywell Group Limited have announced the signing of an agreement for the proposed combination of FMN and Honeywell Flour Mills Plc.

The companies, in a joint statement on Monday, said Honeywell Group would dispose of a 71.69 per cent stake in its listed subsidiary to Flour Mills at a total enterprise value of N80bn.

Flour Mills announced in a separate statement that it had entered into an agreement with First Bank of Nigeria Limited to acquire the bank’s 5.06 per cent equity in Honeywell Flour Mills.

“Consequently, upon completion of the acquisition, and subject to obtaining all requisite regulatory approvals, FMN is set to hold a circa 76.75 per cent equity interest in Honeywell Flour Mills,” it said.

According to the joint statement, the proposed combination is subject to approval from the appropriate regulators.

“The complementary transaction combines FMN’s market-leading offerings that include grain-based foods, sugar, starches, oils, spreads and breakfast cereals with HFMP’s market leading diverse and differentiated range of carbohydrate products,” it said.

It said stakeholders would benefit from the more than 85-year combined track record of FMN and HFMP as well as their shared goal of making affordable and nutritious food available to Nigeria’s population.

Commenting on the transaction, the Managing Director, Honeywell Group, Obafemi Otudeko, said, “Today’s announcement is in line with the evolution of Honeywell Group and our vision of creating value that transcends generations. For over two decades, we have supported Honeywell Flour Mills to build a strong business with a production capacity of 835,000 metric tonnes of food per annum.

“Following the transaction, Honeywell Group will be strongly positioned to consolidate and expand its investment activities, including as a partner of choice for investors in key growth sectors.”

The Group Managing Director of Flour Mills of Nigeria, Omoboyede Olusanya, said, “The proposed transaction is aligned with our vision not only to be an industry leader but a national champion for Nigeria. We believe that this will create an opportunity to combine the unique talents of two robust businesses.

“As a result, we will have a better-rounded and more comprehensive skill set available to us as a combined diversified food business, thus enabling us to better serve our consumers, customers and other stakeholders, whilst providing employees with access to broader opportunities.”

NAICOM, Pedabo Mull Proper Transitioning to IFRS 17 as Stakeholders List Challenges

By admin


Ahead of the 2023 date of transitioning to International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17, stakeholders in Nigeria have called on government to address prevailing bottlenecks to ensure smooth implementation.

The called was made in Lagos at a Thought Leadership Breakfast Session organised by Pedabo Audit Services and chair by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM)

At the event, tagged “An Insight into the New IFRS 17 and its Impact on the Insurance Business,” stakeholders raised concerns over the loopholes in Nigeria’s approach, stressing that the approach has many implementations for the country, especially the insurance sector.

While the event was declared opened by Albert Folorunsho, Managing Consultant, Pedabo and monitored virtually by journalists, experts at the event said while the efforts being made by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) were laudable, there are concerns and implications that the country must pay attention to.

They said the current state of data in the sector, the investment required to acquire data, the security of the data, integrity, storage, and the reliability of the data as well as the complex computation required remain critical if the the initiative will succeed in Nigeria.

While 1 January 2023 is the transition date, early adoption is permitted by the International Accounting Standard Board (IASB). NAICOM has designed a national road map towards the implementation of the standard in Nigeria and this is broken down in phases into pillars 1 to 5 with pillar 1 having commenced January 2020.

NAICOM’s Director of Supervision, Barineka Thompson, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas at the event tagged “An Insight into the New IFRS 17 and its Impact on the Insurance Business,” noted that there was no going back on the implementation of the standard on January 1, 2023.

Thompson, who insisted that the transition process remained on track as stakeholders are being engaged, warmed related companies operating in the country to use the transition phase wisely as the Commission would not tolerate failure and weak implementation by companies.

Managing Partner at Pedabo, Ajibade Fashina noted that with concerns over data related challenges and other issues that may arise from the implementation of the IFRS 17, there was need for auditors to understand the task ahead.

Fashina said: “They have a lot of work ahead; talking about financial statements, which would now double current figure. That is indeed a huge task ahead of them.

He noted that there was need for a risk-based approach to ensure control over data, while engaging the modalities for estimates, capacities and competencies of the consultants, “I will advise that auditors should be involved during the transition process. This will avoid waste of time during the final audit,” Fashina said

Nosa Ogbebor, Senior Manager at Pedabo noted that there are a lot of estimates, assumptions and issues related to feasible practicalities of the IFRS 17 as stakeholders said automation of systems and processes were needed for the success of the implementation.

He noted that data may remain a critical bottleneck, adding that the current system architecture in the industry, accounting policies that aid and guide the implementation, capacity development and training remained sacrosanct for a successful implementation.

Ogbebor also raised concerns over the level of investment that would enable smooth transition, saying that while there were gaps in previous standards, fine-tuning proposed standards remain critical.

While the previous standards had variety of treatments, leading to inconsistencies as well as difficulty of having a consistent approach or constant framework on treatment for some insurance contracts, he noted that there are prevailing concerns on estimation of cashflows for long duration contracts.

CBN, payment system operators move to fast-track e-Naira usage

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), payment service providers (PSPs) and other players in financial technology (fintech) explore options for expanding the adoption of e-Naira.

At the end of the deliberation in Lagos,  the parties resolved to work together to ensure a faster rate of adoption of the central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Many stakeholders have assessed the adoption rate as sluggish. The Guardian had reported last week that a total of 488,000 consumer wallets and 78,000 merchant wallets had been downloaded across 160 countries since its launch.

Statistics from the apex Bank also showed that 17,000 transactions amounting to about N62 million, with the average transaction being about N3, 800 each had been completed.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), last week, said the CBDC promises to improve on the dwindling remittances to Nigeria. But there are concerns about the snail rate of adoption, which many observers said could only increase with more aggressive awareness.

Speaking at yesterday’s meeting, the Director, Information Technology Department (ITD) at the CBN, Rakiya Mohammed, said the CBN was neither competing with the deposit money banks (DMBs) nor other operators in the Nigerian payment system ecosystem.

Mohammed explained that the engagement was in continuation of the bank’s strategy to bring all stakeholders on board on the journey to redefine the payments system, noting that the CBN was open to suggestions aimed at adding value to the eNaira implementation.

She also urged the payment service providers to find more innovative ways to support members of the public in the onboarding process and using eNaira as well as develop solutions for offline eNaira functions, including cards, wearables and USSD.

Mohammed disclosed that the full implementation of the eNaira, which started with the onboarding of banks, would be done in four phases, culminating in offline eNaira payments solutions, cross-border payment and interoperability of the eNaira with other CBDCs.

Going forward, the CBN team and the different stakeholder groups agreed to meet periodically to review the progress made to enable more Nigerians to access eNaira.

The different groups present at the engagement were PSB, switching and processing companies, mobile money operators, payment solution service providers, payment terminal service providers and super agents.

Also present were representatives of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities (SANEF) and the Committee of eBanking Industry Heads.

Shareholders sue IGI, management over alleged infractions, asset stripping

By admin


Some shareholders of the Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) have dragged the firm and its management before the Federal High Court, Lagos for allegedly perpetrating illegality in the management of the company’s affairs.

Apart from IGI, other respondents in the petition are its managing director, Mrs Rachel Voke Emenike; Alhaji Yayale Ahmed; Prof Oladapo Afolabi; Messrs Augustine Olorunsola, Kanayo Chuks Okoye, Gafar Kayode Animashaun and Abiodun Ajifolawe.

The petitioners are Signet Ring Realty & Investment Limited; Dr Yinka Adedeji; Adefunke Adesola; Olayinka Olajuwon; Abiodun A. Akinjayeju; Olusegun Adekunle Wright; Igbekele Akinjayeju and Anthony Osae-Brown.

The petitioners, in the suit marked FHC/L/CP/1699/2021, are accusing them of failing or neglecting to abide by the law, which requires them to hold the statutory yearly general meeting for over five years, but embarked on “unrestrained asset stripping” by selling and transferring the company fixed assets without the approval of the shareholders.

They were jointly accused of running the affairs of IGI illegally in contravention of the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2000.

The petitioners are praying the court for a declaration that the affair of the 1st respondent (IGI) has been and is being conducted in a manner that is unfairly prejudicial and oppressive to the interest of the petitioners.

They are also asking the court to declare the management of the affairs of the company illegal for failure to publish a yearly audited financial report of the company and to give a statutory report of directors and auditors to the members of the company.

Subsequently, the petitioners are praying the court for “an order setting aside any or all acts of the 2nd-8th respondents in purported exercise of the powers of such office and or respective offices without the approval and consent of the shareholders at the yearly general meeting as recommended by statute and Memorandum and Articles of Association of the 1st respondent.”

The court was also urged to grant an order mandating them to convene the general meeting of the 1st respondent in compliance with section 237 of the CAMA, extant laws and the firm’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.

The petitioners further prayed the court to grant an order of injunction restraining the respondents, their agents and privies from further acts of negotiations, sale or utilisation of the company’s assets, pending when the respondents render proper accounts on the assets sales of the company at the properly convened AGM.

In a 21-paragraph statement on oath deposed to by one of the petitioners, Abiodun Anthony Akinjayeju, he averred that the actions of the respondents ran foul of the extant provisions of the law.

He stated that the respondents have “failed, refused and /or neglected to convene a statutory yearly general meeting of the 1st respondent, in flagrant disregard of S. 237 of CAMA” and that the last meeting of the company was held in 2016.

He swore that the company’s assets sold include landed properties in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lagos, Bodija, Ibadan in Oyo State and Kacyru Kigali, in Rwanda without authorisation from shareholders.

He submitted that all these actions have affected the fortune of the company and have led to the company’s expulsion from the Nigerian Insurers Association, which invariably has affected their investments in the company.

Pension Adjustment: PTAD Completes Arrears Payment

By Favour Nnabugwu


The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) says it has completed the payment of arrears arising as a result of the consequential adjustment to pensions to three out of the four operational departments in the Directorate.

A statement from PTAD reads: “It would be recalled that following the Presidential approval for a consequential adjustment to pension of the retirees under the Defined Benefit Scheme as a result of the increase in minimum wage in 2019, PTAD commenced payment of the pension increment in May 2021, with an accrued arrears of twenty-four months.

The Civil Service Pensioners were paid nine months out of the twenty-four months’ arrears while the Parastatals, Police, and Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pensioners were paid twelve months’ arrears in May.

In July 2021, PTAD paid an additional 9 months of the consequential adjustment arrears occasioned by the minimum wage increase of 2019 to Civil Service Pension Department Pensioners and 6 months of the same arrears to Parastatals, Police, Customs, Immigration and Prisons Department Pensioners, thus bringing the arrears paid so far to a total of 18 out of the 24 months’ arrears of the Pension Increment

In line with the promise made by the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, more of the accrued arrears have been paid, leading to a complete payment in three operational departments, with a promise to pay the remaining arrears before the end of first Quarter of 2022.

The cleared departments are: Parastatals Pension Department, Customs Immigration and Prisons Pension Department, and Police Pension Department; while a balance of three months’ arrears is still being owed the retirees under the Civil Service Pension Department.

While thanking the pensioners for their understanding, the Executive Secretary of PTAD promised to continue promoting the welfare of the Senior Citizens in accordance with the mandate of the Directorate.”

NAMA Abuja Airport Operation Manager died at work

By admin


Nigerian Airspace Management Agency ( NAMA) has announced the death of one of its Air Traffic Controllers (ATCO), Aniekan Effiong, while on duty on Monday.

Khalid Emele, NAMA spokesman, confirmed the sad news in a statement in Lagos on Monday.

Mr Emele said Mr Effiong died on duty at the approach radar control site of NAMA Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON), Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The ATC officer, until his death was an Assistant General Manager, Operations at NAMA.

Mr Emele, mourned the sudden death of the NAMA official, saying “he was a hardworking and dedicated staff(er) who died at the prime of his career.

“Effiong reported to duty at the Abuja Approach Radar Control (TRACON) on Nov. 21 at 6p.m. without any sign of illness whatsoever.

“He was to close by 7a.m. the next day (Monday). However, at about 4 a.m. this morning, he experienced difficulty in breathing.

“FAAN ambulance was called to evacuate him to the nearest medical facility.

“He was immediately taken to the Air Force Base clinic where he died.

“Effiong was a hardworking and dedicated staff who died at the prime of his career.

“He will be missed by the entire NAMA community,” said the statement. NAN