Buhari re-appoints Patience Oniha as DG DMO

By Favour Nnabugwu



President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the renewal of the appointment of Patience Oniha as the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) for a second term of five years.

A statement issued in by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the re-appointment was in accordance to Section IV (9-i) of the Debt Management Office (Establishment ETC) Act, 2003.

The statement further said that the renewal takes effect from July 1, 2022.

“Her appointment for a second term was based on the significant achievements recorded by the DMO in the last 5 years, under her leadership.

“Amongst the achievements are the introduction of Sukuk and Green Bonds to finance the development of infrastructure where there is a huge gap.

“Under her watch, as part of the initiatives to improve the sustainability of the public debt and opening up avenues for raising long term funds for corporates, the DMO introduced long term Bonds with tenors of 30 years in the domestic and international markets.

“This is aside from attracting diverse investors including retail investors to the FGN Bond Market, ” the statement said.

It further added, “Internally, Oniha introduced reforms to strengthen the DMO, as a critical agency in the public finance ecosystem of the country.”

43,008 pilgrims for airlifting to Saudi July 3 – NAHCON

*Hajj: We’ll complete airlifting of 43,008 pilgrims to Saudi July 3 – NAHCON reassures*

_By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja_

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has concluded plans to finish the airlifting of all 43,008  pilgrims to the Holy Land for this year’s pilgrimage by July 3. 2022.

This excludes the pilgrims airlifted by private tour operators across the country.

The Saudi government had allocated 43,008 slots to Nigeria, out of which licensed tour operators, under the aegis of Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria, got 9,032.

NAHCON’s Executive Chairman, Alhaji Zikirullah Kunle Hassan, who disclosed these while briefing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, said the Commission had contracted three airlines to fly the pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

He was reacting to fears in certain quarters that barely three days to the commencement of this year’s Hajj ceremony, thousands of Nigerian pilgrims may miss the exercise because they have not been airlifted to the Holy Land.

“So far, everything is smooth. We are back to full Hajj operations after two-year interregnum. We have everything in place. We expect to finish flight operations by July 3,” he assured.

“Over  22,000 pilgrims have been airlifted from 23 states and the Armed Forces with Kano and Kaduna State having the highest number of pilgrims.

The Executive Chairman further confirmed that NAHCON’s request for additional slots from Saudi Arabia had been turned down by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

He also said it was true that the request to have some officials who are above 65 years to travel because of their experience in hajj operation was also not granted.

Nonetheless, Hassan blamed the initial hiccups in the airlifting of the pilgrims on the short notice of the Saudi authorities for countries to mobilise their pilgrims for this year’s Hajj.

He, however, regretted that while the contracted airlines were ready to fly the pilgrims to the Islamic capital of the world for the religious expedition, most of the state pilgrims’ boards were not ready with their people for airlifting.

On the challenges faced by nearly 3,000 pilgrims of licensed tour operators, who made deposits to NAHCON’s Treasury Single Account domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, but whose accounts in Saudi Arabia were yet to be credited to enable them process their accommodation in Makkah and Madinah and pay for other services, Hassan assured that the Commission was working with the relevant authorities in Saudi Arabia to address the issue.

CBN ACGSF loan to farmers hit N131bn

By Favour Nnabugwu



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has guaranteed the sum of N130. 90 billion loan to farmers under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) between its inception in 1977 and May 2022.

The Chairman of the Board of the ACGSF, Mr. Stephen Okon, gave the update at the 2021 National Best Farmers of the Year Award, held in Abuja, yesterday.

Okon said, “The ACGSF Scheme has proved relatively successful in de-risking the agricultural sector in Nigeria as evidenced in the number of loans guaranteed from inception to date.

“A total of 1,232,326 loans valued N130.903 billion were guaranteed from inception to May 2022 out of which 973,646 beneficiaries had repaid a total of N98.91b.”

The chairman said that the federal government and the CBN both contributed to the Fund in the ratio of 60 percent and 40% respectively, with the CBN doubling as the Managing Agent and the Secretariat.

Mr. Okon said that the timing of the event was apt, given the fact that countries across the globe were experiencing challenges, resulting from the Russian – Ukrainian War.

“Its impact being – global oil and food crises affecting the agricultural sector which has contributed to disruptions in domestic food supply chains and other shocks affecting food production.

“This has led to the loss of incomes, food security risks, inflationary trends, and creating serious tensions in many countries,” he said.

The chairman noted that achieving food security not only carried significant benefits for human health but also served as the basis to achieve sustained economic growth.

“Awakened by a potential rise in food insecurity, many countries and organizations are mounting special efforts to keep agriculture safely running as an essential business,” he added.

In his remarks, the Abuja Branch Controller of the CBN, Mr. Michael Ogbu, said that the successes achieved under the ACGSF had led to significant improvement in Deposit Money Banks’ (DMB) lending to the agricultural sector and to a remarkable growth in the agri-business value chain in Nigeria.

He stressed the determination of the Management of the CBN towards supporting farmers to grow exponentially, saying, “ that way, Nigeria can actually grow what she eats.”

The ACGSF was established by Decree No. 20 of 1977 to guarantee agricultural credit facilities granted to farmers.

The Scheme encourages Deposit Money Banks and Microfinance Banks to lend to those engaged in agriculture by providing guarantee.

It mitigates risks associated with banks’ lending to agriculture by guaranteeing to pay banks 75 per cent of the net amount in default in accordance with the provisions of the enabling Act.

Under the new ACGSF Amendment Act 2019 the maximum for a non-collateralized loan has increased from N20,000.00 to N100,000.00, while the maximum for a collateralized loan moved from N10 million to N50 million.

Mr. Peter Okonkwo emerged overall winner of the 2021 National Best Farmer of the Year.

He was said to have taken an N8. 050 million facility under the scheme for the procurement of additional agricultural plants, machineries and packaging in 2018 and with it, generated N15 million income and a profit of over N2,7 million.



88,000 candidates sit for 2022 NABTEB examinations

By Favour Nnabugwu



Not less than 88,000 candidates sat for the ongoing 2022 National Business and Technical Examinations Board, NABTEB Certificate examination across the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of NABTEB, Ifeoma Isiugo Abanihe, who spoke while while monitoring the examination in some secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory, said there had been tremendous increase of enrollment in the past five years.

Some of the schools she monitored were Federal Government College, Orozo and Government Technical College, Garki, Abuja.

“The surge began in 2015 when the examinations’ body first recorded 55,000 enrolments, moving to 83000 in 2018″

She warned against any discriminatory art  against the certificate, stated that they henceforth not condone such action by institutions found involved in the practice.

She said,”In 2022,about 88,000 candidates applied to write the NABTEB examination nationwide.

“Starting from 2018, it was about 55,000 candidates, but this year you can see last year was 83,000 plus so there has been steady increase in enrollment and I think it is because of the realisation that TVET is the way to gom

“In the world today there is need for skills acquisition there is need for empowerment in skills, self reliance, and it’s at the bottom of development and that is why there’s more realisation that is a very, very crucial aspect of education.”

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who spoke through his representative and Director, Human Resources of the ministry, David Gende ,called for an end to the demeaning of NABTEB certificates.

“Skill acquisition is what the government is promoting to take over the Nigerian business and technical workspace.”

“People need to stop demeaning this very certificate, so that people can pick up the skills that are required. We need to stop those who are taking over our space, you know if those space were available, the young ones who cannot continue after this level, at least have some skills to carry on and take over the space,”he further said.

Gender said government was presently directing students towards the sector “as option for those who cannot fit into the formal sector.”

“That is the way to go. And that is where we are directing our students to go. Those who cannot fit into other professional areas,there are other sound options that we know are acceptable anywhere, and even contributing greater to the development of our country”,he added.

Efekoha now member of AIO Executive Committee

Favour Nnabugwu


The Group Managing Director of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance (CHI) Plc, Mr. Eddie Efekoha is now a member of the Executive Committee of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO).

Efekoha admission into the committee took place at the 48th AIO Annual conference and General Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, was in recognition of his immense contribution towards the growth and development of insurance in Nigeria and on African continent.

In his role, aside working with AIO Secretariat, he is expected to continue to use his rare talents and experience to deepen the penetration of insurance and address all issues on the African Insurance landscape

Efekoha who was once the chairman of Nigerian Insurers Association ( NIA) has been a strong pillar in the Nigerian insurance industry, having become the President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) and the Chairman of Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) in the past of which he served meritoriously.

In a congratulatory letter from CIIN to Efekoha on his feat, the President, CIIN, Sir Muftau Oyegunle, applauded his impact and contributions toward deepening insurance penetration in Nigeria and across the continent, expecting him to dip into his experience to excel in his new role.

“Everything you have done and accomplished in improving the insurance industry both in Nigeria and Africa are plausible. We are sure that this is another opportunity to continue to use your rare talent and experience to deepen the penetration of insurance and address all issues on the African insurance landscape. Accept the institute’s hearty congratulations.”

Efekoha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Insurance and a Master’s degree in Business Administration both from the University of Lagos.

He was the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of Consolidated Risks Insurers, the past President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) and the 22nd Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) from 2016-2018

He has worked with leading Insurance Brokerage firms in top executive positions including Hogg Robinson Nigeria, Glanvill Enthoven & Co (Nig.) and Fountain Insurance Brokers as pioneer MD/CEO

AIBA elects Olatunde-Agbeja, Ezeibe as Chairman, Secretary

By Favour Nnabugwu



The African Insurance Brokers Association (AIBA) has elected the Chairman of Boff Insurance Brokers, Chief Babajide Olatunde-Agbeja and as it’s new Chairman and Ekepma Ezeibe as Secretary

Others also elected are as follows: Mr. Shaibu Ali – Ghana – Vice Chairman;  Mr. Yombo Bammeke – Nigeria – Treasurer; Mr. Nelson Omolo – Kenya – Ex Officio; Mr. Shola Tinubu – Nigeria – Ex officio and Mr. Jean Baptiste Ntukamazina- AIO SG – Ex Officio.

The election which took place on the sideline of ongoing 48th African Insurance Organisation Conference in Nairobi,Kenya.

The executive are to serve for one year and it is expected that heir election will give a great impetus to the body in accomplishing its mandate of broadening the practice of insurance broking in Africa.

ECOWAS Parliament suspends recruitment pending audit report 

By Favour Nnabugwu
The First Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Idris Wase, has announced the temporary suspension of all recruitment, conversion and promotion exercise in the Parliament pending the outcome of Bureau of Investigation report.
Hon. Wase, made the announcement  while presiding over the closing of its 2022 First Ordinary Session  in Abuja ruled in favor of the motion for suspension of all exercises.
The motion to suspend the recruitment and promotion in the ECOWAS Parliament was moved by Hon. Awajim Abiante and seconded by Sen. Biodun Olujimi, aboth Nigerian lawmakers at the ECOWAS Parliament and upported by Hon. Yousoufa Bida and concurrently agreed by the house.
“I want to believe that all of us that are sited here are holding these positions based on trust and we are not going to betray that trust, your confidence.
“When I mentioned that we are going to go into that report of course, the other citizens out there are also our citizens and we will not like them to suffer unjustly because of one little problem or the other.
“So the first thing I will beg is that you allow the Bureau to consider, look into the report of the audit and any other matter that has been raised regarding the recruitment exercise.
“And this we will have to do it with all sense of diligence and integrity to ensure that the right thing is done within the shortest period of time.
“I will believe that of your very own exalted office that you are here and on behalf of you that the motion is in order but that you allow the Bureau to look into it.
“So that we do not unnecessarily delay the process and then report back to the plenary at the next sitting”, Wase said.
Earlier, Abiante while moving the motion said that “I as Awaji-InobekAbiante a lawmaker from Nigeria.
“Wish to move that all processes, actions, activities, aimed and geared toward the recruitment, promotion, conversion, interview and any other related matter be suspended.
“Until all issues that have been raised, all petitions that have been brought forth, all protests, all misgivings are comprehensively resolved and the Parliament is so briefed.
“I am bringing this up because I have further information that letters have already been served in this regards and if Parliament does not intervene, we might be chasing shadows at the end of the day.
“It might be that these processes have been concluded and they will just report to us. that is my position and I so move,” Abiante moved.
Olujimi who seconded the motion gave more insight on the situation in an interview with journalists at the end of the session also said that the suspension of the process is in the interest of community citizens.
“We found out that there was an audit report that should have allowed people who have been within the administrative cadre to move up so that there will be spaces down the row.
“We found that it had not been adopted and nothing was done about it and people were jittering, there was no doubt that everyone was jittering.
“You could cause despondency and a decline in the workforce if you do not allow people to grow properly within the system.
“So we thought that now that another recruitment was being undertaken, we felt that there was a need to look at that audit reports, situate it properly, move the people that should be moved before anything else could continue.
“And the leadership was gracious enough to agree that the Bureau will sit and look into it so that everybody will be in their rightful positions.
“It is a community, these are citizens and there is a need to make everybody comfortable in whatever they are doing”, Olujimi said.
“An issue was raised that there is an audit report. Can we have the audit report so that while waiting to have it, let everything be suspended so that we can look at it.
“It is not personal, it has to be a position of the Parliament. We have made a conclusion and we are coming back to it, meaning it is a very serious issue and we have to be very careful.
“When you listen to colleagues, you can see that people are speaking in terms of referral from the population.
“I want us to be very careful, let the plenary suspend the procedure even if it is by mail, let us have the audit report so that we can look at it.
Naicom cancels Registration licenses of Niger Insurance, Standard Alliance Insurance.

By Favour Nnabugwu
The National Insurance Commission, Naicom, has taken the bold step to finally cancel the licences of registrations of Niger Insurance and Standard Alliance Insurance after effort to resuscitate the companies failed
The Commission in a statement released by the Head, Corporate Communications and Market Development, Mr Rasaaq Salami said that  “This is to notify all insurance stakeholders and members of the public that the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM has CANCELLED the certificates of registration of Standard Alliance Insurance Plc, RIC – 091 and Niger Insurance Plc,  RIC – 029 with effect from the 21st day of June, 2022”
Consequently, the Commission has appointed Sanya, Ogunkuade Esq as the Receiver/Liquidator for Niger Insurance Plc and, Kehinde Aina Esq of Aina Blankson LP as the Receiver/Liquidator for Standard Alliance Insurance Plc
All stakeholders are advised to forward their enquiries to the respective Receiver/Liquidator for each company for their necessary action.
The Commission assures all stakeholders of the safety and  protection of their interests.
AIO tasked on business models, investment to meet ESG



L- The outgoing President of the African Insurance Organisation, AIO, Mr Tope Smart and wife, Mrs Tonia Smart



By Favour Nnabugwu




Africa insurers and reinsurers have been tasked to change to their business models and increase their investments for them to meet environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations.

Kenya’s cabinet minister for Treasury Ukur Yatani told the 1,500-plus delegates attending the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) Conference in Nairobi that new business models and more investments hold the key to meeting their ESG goals.

In an address delivered by his assistant, Mr Yatani said the AIO conference’s theme of ‘Insurance and Climate Change: Harnessing the opportunities for growth in Africa’ speaks to what the continent is experiencing currently.

“Insurance industry has a critical role to play in helping companies and nations to manage, measure and reduce the impact of climate change,” said Mr Yatani.

“They therefore cannot continue with their business as usual in the face of increasing frequency and scale of risks linked to climate change. We must adjust our business models to better respond to ESG issues.”

He called for collaborations with other players including governments if they are to “play their rightful roles” in championing and promoting environmental sustainability issues.

In 2012, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative developed a framework for the insurance industry on the principles for sustainable insurance.

The framework was to, among other things, help insurers embed ESG issues in their business models and raise transparency and accountability of underwriters on ESG issues.

But lean budgets and challenges on their traditional insurance products have been a barrier to increasing focus on ESG.

“I want to encourage insurers and insurers operating in Africa to increase their retention capacity through increased investments on the continent. The increased investments will encourage and ensure that we meet the ESG goals,” said Mr Yatani.

Climate change conversations are being given preference especially as floods, drought, wildfires and locusts disrupt livelihoods in Africa, presenting challenges that insurers can transform into opportunities.

Insurers and reinsurers have been challenged to use the Nairobi conference to take stock of the progress that has been realised in embedding ESG in their businesses.

“As the assembly continues to discuss ESG issues, I urge them to critically examine the achievements and the progress that has been made towards the fulfilment of those goals,” said Mr Yatani.

He said while Africa’s insurance sector has prioritised access and inclusivity, many countries have been slow on developing regulations and rolling out products for the excluded and the marginalised groups.

The outgoing President of  African Insurance Organisation (AIO), Mr. Tope Smart, has frowned at the low insurance penetration rate in African.

He made his position known yesterday at the ongoing 48th Conference and Annual General Assembly of the AIO in Nairobi, Kenya.

According to him, “African insurance industry remains one of the least penetrated in the world, with an average of about 2%, which is low compared to the global average of around 7 percent”

“Our industry’s growth keeps getting slowed down by our inability to build substantial capital reserves due to poor saving culture and “Premium flight”, while “there is still heavy reliance on foreign expertise,” he said.
He added that “Our industry is still plagued by poor public image and lack of trust”, saying “these and many more are the challenges we face today, and we need to address them if we intend to secure a better future for our industry.”

“As AIO clocks 60 this year, he informed that the Golden Jubilee of the organisation will be marked by a symposium, where the operators intend to discuss some of these challenges facing the insurance industry in the continent.

In view of the fact that the African Development Bank posited that Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change impacts under all climate scenarios above 1.5 degrees Celsius.

He expressed worries that “despite having contributed the least to global warming and having the lowest emissions, Africa faces exponential collateral damage, posing systemic risks to its economies, infrastructure investments, water and food systems, public health, agriculture and livelihoods, threatening to undo its modest development gains and slip into higher levels of extreme poverty”.

African Insurance Organisation (AIO) said it signed a revised Headquarters Agreement with the Cameroonian Government in Yaoundé recently, which now grants the AIO all the merits of an international organisation with accompanying advantages.

As the continent’s risk managers, he called on the insurance sector to provide risk management solutions, in the form of risk mitigation and transfer, building resilience and enabling the continent transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.


A. M. Best celebrates with AIO on 50th anniversary

By Favour Nnabugwu



AM Best has extended its congratulations to the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) on its 50th anniversary, which is being celebrated during the ongoing 48th annual AIO Conference and Annual General Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

The weeklong conference began on Saturday, 25 June 2022 with the theme of “Insurance and Climate Change: Harnessing the Opportunities for Growth in Africa.” The golden jubilee will be celebrated under the theme, “AIO at 50: A call for Africa Insurance Renaissance.”

“I would like to offer congratulations on this milestone to the AIO and its entire membership and commend its new strategic initiatives for advocacy, research, training, capacity and reputation building and for nurturing a forum for communication in the insurance industry,” said Dr. Edem Kuenyehia, Director of Market Development for Africa at AM Best.

“AM Best is committed to being a truly global rating agency, servicing the needs of the (re)insurance industry throughout the world including the growth economies across the African continent,” added Nick Charteris-Black, Managing Director, Market Development – EMEA, AM Best. “Through our rating activities, we seek to strengthen the financial solvency, stability, and sustainability of the insurance industry in support of economic growth and the well-being of all stakeholders.”

Insurance and reinsurance companies and other market stakeholders looking to learn more about AM Best and its approach to issuing financial strength ratings can contact: