Free Trade Zones attracts $30bn investments, provided 150,000 jobs — MD NEPZA 

By Favour Nnabugwu
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA has said that the Free Trade Zones, FTZ, has attracted over $30 billion investments and provided 150,000 jobs.
The Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof Adesoji Adesugba revealed this at the 30th anniversary of the Free Trade Zones Scheme in Nigeria, held in Abuja.
According to him, the FTZ harbours over 600 enterprises which he noted, have also provided 400,000 indirect jobs.
He said, “Currently, NEPZA exercises regulatory oversight on 46 Free Trade Zones, out of which forty-four (44) are private-owned and two (2) fully owned and managed by the Authority on behalf of government. Even the two (2) are undergoing a process of Concession to private entities.
“These business enclaves harbour over 600 enterprises providing 150,000 direct employment and an estimated 400,000 indirect employment.
“To date, the Zones have attracted over US$30 billion investments which is expected to exponentially increase in the next few years with our sustained incentives and aggressive investment drive across the world.”
The MD NEPZA further stated that the enacting of the Authority has led to it being a “key driver,” of the nation’s economy.
He said, “There is no gainsaying the fact that the ultimate objective of Nigeria adopting this global business model was to fast track economic growth and industrialization. Suffice to therefore, say that the decision of the Nigerian Government to key into this concept has remained legendary as the model has become a key driver of the nation’s economy. The presence of key global enterprises in the Zones is a testament to this assertion in speedily contributing to the growth of the Nigerian economy.”
Highlighting some the Authority’s achievements, he said, “The Authority has recorded these modest achievements; Commissioning of the five-storey building at Victoria Island, Lagos. Developing 25MW Power infrastructure each at Calabar and Kano Free Trade Zones. High-profile capital projects at Calabar and Kano Free Trade Zones and Special Economic Zones in Funtua, Ilorin and Lagos.”
Coscharis Motors, AIICO partner Insurance coverage for customers 

L- Luciana Ojeniyi (Group Head, Digital Partnerships and Wealth Management, Tangerine; Kehinde Adeniyi (Lead, Retail Non-Life Business, AIICO; Piyush Srivastava (Head, Partnership & Alliance, AIICO; Abiona Babarinde (General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Coscharis); Yewande Adewusi (Group Executive Director, Commercial, Tangerine and Ufuoma Umukuoro (General Manager, Sales, Coscharis)
By Favour Nnabugwu

Coscharis Motors Limited, a leading brand in the Nigerian automobile industry, has partnered with AIICO Insurance Plc to embed insurance into its automobile sales. As a result, existing and prospective customers of Coscharis will continue to enjoy premium automobile after-sales service backed with risk protection from the underwriting company, guaranteeing peace of mind at a minimal cost from the moment they purchase any vehicle of their choice.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. Abiona Babarinde, Coscharis Group’s General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communication, “We have entered into this value-based collaboration in our quest to continuously offer the best value to our wide range of customers. With this integrated insurance package, we can guarantee our customers immediate insurance coverage at the time of car purchase across all of our showrooms, as well as a quick and stress-free claims process should the need arise.”

According to Mr. Piyush Srivastava, Head, Partnership & Alliance at AIICO, “We appreciate the trust reposed on us by the Coscharis Group, giving us this platform to bring on board our experience, expertise and capacity for underwriting this kind of business. From this partnership, Coscharis Motors’ clients stand to gain significantly. Among other backend processes in place, we have developed procedures to speed up the claims process and they would enjoy a seamless customer experience. In addition, customers are to get priority attention for necessary repairs or replacements.”

According to Gbenga Ilori, AIICO’s Head of Retail Business, “Our approach to business is built on a deep understanding of the markets we operate in. This partnership illustrates our commitment to providing solutions to the identified needs.”

AIICO Insurance Plc., is a household name in insurance and has been in the underwriting business for nearly six decades and currently ranks highest by gross written premium in the industry for two consecutive years (2020 and 2021). It provides life and health insurance, general insurance and investment management services to create and protect wealth for individuals, families and corporate customers.

Established in 1977, Coscharis Motors has been providing the Nigerian people with vehicles from a robustly diversified auto dealership comprising five luxury and two value brands: Land Rover, BMW, Ford, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, etc. These brands are showcased in its ultra-modern showrooms nationwide. In addition, the company has invested significantly in providing after-sales facilities with trained personnel across the country to make service readily accessible.


5000 entrepreneurs from Nigeria, Kenya, S/A graduated from Google’s Hustle Academy

By Favour Nnabugw


No fewer than 5000 business owners in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa graduated from Google Hustle Academy programme.

Celebrating the successful entrepreneurs in Lagos, Google also announced a new speaker series in which successful African entrepreneurs share lessons and advice, furthering its commitment to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive.

The Hustle Academy was a programme launched in February 2022 which provides practical business training. It helps business owners learn the soft skills that complement their hard talents, through peer-to-peer and mentor driven learning.

According to Google, this year’s graduates were chosen from nearly 10 000 applications.

It also explained that the 5000 graduates came from 23 cohorts who attended five day virtual boot camps where they learned how to define their business strategy, increase sales, and how to pitch for investor funding.

Head of Brand and Reputation, SSA. Mrs Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, said: “Our graduates are working hard to grow their businesses, and in addition to having an impact in these 5000 SMBs, this kind of practical training also has a ripple effect, helping many more people succeed.

“The “Hustle Academy Brings You…” the new talk-show style video series featuring renowned and respected entrepreneurs from across Africa, sharing practical advice and growth tips to inspire emerging entrepreneurs is meant to complement and expand the Hustle Academy training.

“This speaker series will allow SMBs to get insight from business owners from an array of sectors, focusing on the issues, themes and subjects they face on a regular basis.”
Aderemi-Makinde added that, “Small and medium-sized businesses, SMEs, are the backbone of the global economy, and in Africa, they account for an estimated 80 percent of jobs. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, there are an estimated 44 million micro, small and medium enterprises, which function as important drivers of economic growth.”

Sylva Ogwemoh is chairman of African Alliance

By Favour Nnabugwu

The Board of Nigeria’s foremost life insurer, African Alliance Insurance PLC has appointed Mr  Sylva Ogwemoh as the new Chairman of its Board of Directors.

Ogwemoh is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) with over 3 decades of experience in Commercial Litigation and Corporate Law.  He has vast legal compliance and private equity experiences where he has advised clients on structured finance, corporate governance issues, portfolio decision-making, corporate strategy, board facilitation, joint ventures, mergers, and acquisition, among others.
He is the Senior Partner and Head of Kevin Martin Ogwemoh Legal, a commercial law firm with Headquarters in Lagos. He is an alumnus of Saῐd Business School (OAMLP), University of Oxford, United Kingdom, with a certification in management and leadership. He became a Notary Public of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1998 and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 2014.

Sylva Ogwemoh (SAN) is an exceptional leader that has hugely impacted his industry through his contributions and participation in various committees. Some of these include: Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom; Fellow, Institute of Management Consultants, Nigeria; Member, London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA African User’s Council); Panel Member, Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) and Rwanda; Member,

Others include: Lagos Court of Arbitration. Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria. Negotiation and Conflict Management Group. Member, Nigerian Bar Association, International Bar Association, Nigerian Institute of Management, and Capital Market Solicitors Association of Nigeria and Registered Capital Market Practitioner, with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria

He has attended several local and international conferences in law and has delivered many papers on diverse subjects in law. He has also won various award as a testament to his prowess.

Managing Director of African Alliance, Mrs Joyce Ojemudia expressed that “The Board and management of African Alliance are excited to announce Mr. Sylva Ogwemoh as our New Board Chairman. We have confidence that under his leadership African Alliance will record great achievements”.

Incorporated in 1960, African Alliance Insurance PLC is widely regarded as the strongest life specialist in the industry.  The company is adequately positioned to provide innovative and customized plans for the Nigerian market

Stakeholders implored to come out in words, deeds- ACAMB president

…..Wants insurance corporate affairs to meet the banks’
By Favour Nnabugwu
For insurance industry to take its pride of place in the nation’s economy, the sector’s stakeholders need to put heads together to simplify actions in words and deeds
President, Association of Communications and Marketing Professionals in Banks (ACAMB), Mr. Rasheed Bolarinwa in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State at the 2022 Retreat oragised for Nigerian Insurance Association of Insurance & Pension Editors by the Insurance Industry Consultative Council, IICC said it is high time insurance sector let go the primitive way of doing business especially, packaging their products with the Media 
Bolarinwa  who delivered a paper on ‘Media As Catalyst For Insurance Inclusion’ wished that the Heads of Corporate Communications of insurance will meet with those of the banking sector so they can interact and share ideas about getting the best from the Media.
“I  think is high time corporate communications of the banks meet with the heads of corporate affairs of insurance. We need to meet and discuss issues about the sectors”
Bolarinwa who doubles as the Head Corporate Communications of Polaris Bank Plc said, “When all stakeholders in the risk ecosystem are deliberate, consistent and methodical in simplifying what insurance is all about in words and deed”
He said the industry is still at it low ebb in contribution to Gross Domestic Products, GDP while citing those of other country such as the United Kingdom’s insurance industry which contributes about 20 percent of the total GDP of the country. In South Africa, it contributes 17 percent of the total GDP and, in Kenya, the industry contributes 3.4 percent of the nation’s GDP.
“Sadly, after 62 years of independence, the Nigerian insurance industry is still crawling with dual problems of little knowledge of its values and acceptance by the populace mostly ignorant of the values of insurance”.
“These  are among the key hinderers of mass patronage, growth of premium generation and meaningful contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy Insurance will only take its pride of place as big a contributor to the
nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as it applicable in other jurisdictions”
One of the major source of creating awareness, he pointed out is the mass media. “The mass media are vehicles and instruments for the socio-economic
transformation and re-engineering of any society”.
For a country that is yet to develop like Nigeria, he said, the media is required and, indeed, is fundamental for the penetration of important national agendas.
“The most prominent and widely known media of mass communication in contemporary Nigeria are newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and digital communication platforms and there is the need to further strategically explore them”
According to him, “The Media is a strategic vehicle for dialogue and the acceleration of inclusive growth in any society.
“The media can continuously set agenda for the public to know more about the importance of insurance and to accept different risk-protection values inherent in modern insurance policies”
“This  moment is the most critical time for a more germane approach to how to communicate the essence of insurance to Nigeria’s huge population if we are truly concerned about achieving measurable and optimal penetration and reasonable acceptance”
“Social  media marketing is a great way for insurance companies to
unleash their digital marketing plan. A study has revealed that customers
increasingly spend more time on social media. If that is the case, social
media platforms are key for insurance policy marketers and the general
“A dedicated jointly owned media vehicle should be created by all stakeholders to serve as a news agency on insurance content shared with other media houses”
“Regulatory  bodies in the Nigerian insurance industry are expected to partner the Nigerian media industry towards creating a diverse and inclusive newsroom; that has content development and coverage strategy that builds audience trust in insurance and provides for a better representation of different societies”
Welcome address by Chairman IICC, Edwin Igbiti on 2022 Retreat for NAIPE in Ogun State



Distinguished Members of the IICC,

Members of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Editors,Erudite Speakers Ladies and Gentlemen, It is with great pleasure I welcome you to the 2022 IICC Media Retreat for Insurance Journalists even as I convey the goodwill of the various Arms of the Insurance Industry under the umbrella of the Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC) to you.

This Retreat is organised annually by the IICC to serve as a platform to engage and recognize the contributions and the key roles the media has been playing as an instrument for awareness creation and education for insurance in Nigeria. It is also a great opportunity to feel the pulse of the public through the lens of the media.

It is against this backdrop that the IICC ensures its commitment to this annual gathering remains an ever-present feature in the calendar of the industry. This forum also serves the objective of further unifying all Arms of the Insurance Industry who have come together under one umbrella, the IICC, in order to ensure unity and single-mindedness in promoting the insurance industry agenda. It is vital to state that the IICC was formed with the purposes targeted at enhancing the profile of the industry as well as boost its significance to the nation’s economic growth. The objectives include:

1. Acting as an industry voice for national matters. 2. Acting as a platform for intra industry conflict resolution. 3. Promoting the industry’s image and growth agenda. 4. To take up and assume any other role that may serve the best interest of the insurance industry. The crucial position the media plays in the economy and society at large cannot be over emphasized.

Indeed, the media poses as a veritable authority for agenda setting, public education, sensitization and awareness creation. It is in the light of the above, that the theme for this retreat “Media as Catalyst for Insurance Inclusion”, comes to limelight. The media is a powerful catalyst for social change and equally an effective tool for insurance inclusion that the industry desires.

Hence, the need to continually carry the media along with the various initiatives and developments in the industry for good coverage and projection.At this point, I like to use this opportunity to express our profound appreciation to the media for its inestimable support over the years especially, you the insurance industry Journalists who have constantly employed your expertise and in-depth knowledge about the industry to objectively report the trends and opportunities as well as enlighten the public about the values of insurance. You will agree with me that there has been growth in the industry despite the numerous economic recessions, the effects of the COVID-19 and the #ENDSARS protests which resulted into millions of claims. The insurance industry has stood as one of the most resilient and fast expanding sectors in the nation’s economy.

As the industry witness expansion, we equally need you the media to keep promoting these achievements for the good of the common goal of the industry.We are partners and we urge you all to use your reputable platforms to consistently announce the gospel of insurance and its benefits to the public so that we can attain the desired penetration rate in Nigeria. When the industry is booming from our efforts, it will also be a common joy and gain for us all. Hence, the onus is on all of us, everyone in this room and our networks beyond it to ensure that the insurance industry attains its pride of place in the economic ecosystem. At this juncture,

I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all our astute speakers who will be sharing their wealth of experience with us today. I am positive we will learn a lot from their expertise.

Thank you for honouring our invitation to this retreat and implore you to take maximum advantage of the knowledge that would be shared here for the advancement of your profession as modern-day information managers.

Thank you all for your attention and God bless.Mr. Edwin Igbiti, ACII, FIIN Chairman of Council Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC)

Faces @ the 2022 IICC media retreat for NAIPE in Ijebu-Ode

The Insurance Industry Consultative Council organised a two day retreat for the Nigerian Association of Insurance & Pension Editors  NAIPE  for 2022 at Grand inn Hotel, Ijebu- Ode, Ogun State.


L- Director-General, Nigerian Insurers Association, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori and President Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Mr. Edwin Igbiti at the IICC seminar for Nigerian Association Insurance and Pension Editors, NAIPE at Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State

L- Director-General, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Mrs. Abimbola Tiamiyu and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Tope Adaramola at the IICC seminar for Nigerian Association Insurance and Pension Editors, NAIPE at Ijebu-Ode, Ogun Stat

L,-Dr. (Mrs.) Olufunke Oyeneye, Head of
Pharmacy, Oba Ademola Hospital Abeokuta an operator and Director-General, Nigerian Insurers Association, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori

L-  Mr Davis Iyasere, Head Corporate Communication of the Nigerian Insurers Associatiin, NIA; Director-General, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Mrs. Abimbola Tiamiyu; Mr. Rasheed Bolarinwa, Head Corporate Communications, Polaris Bank Plc, and President, Association of Communications and Marketing Professionals in Banks (ACAMB). Mr. Muda Yusuf, Former DG of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI);  President Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Mr. Edwin Igbiti;   Dr. (Mrs.) Olufunke Oyeneye, Head of Pharmacy, Oba Ademola Hospital Abeokuta; Director-General, Nigerian Insurers Association, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Tope Adaramola during the event

NAIPE members at the rvent

IICC tasks Media to support Insurance Industry’s growth

By Favour Nnabugwu




The Chairman of the Insurance Industry Consultative Council, IICC, Mr Edwin Igbiti has enjoined the Media to be part of the industry’s growth agenda to help deepen insurance penetration in the country.

Igbiti who is also the President and Chairman in Council of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State  during the Welcome Dinner/Gala Night of the 2022 Media Retreat with the theme “Media As Catalyst For Insurance Inclusion” organised by IICC for the member of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE).

Igbiti described the media as critical to the industry’s growth agenda while calling on the members of NAIPE to promote and project the industry’s activities in their reports for the growth of the industry and national economy.

“We recognize the importance of the media In the growth of any industry. We know we cannot achieve our growth agenda without the media”.

“The essence of this gathering is for us as an industry to bring you together to brief you on the activities of the industry and our plans for the future.

“It is, therefore, expected that as journalists, you are to tell our stories in your reports and analyses because we are in this together and we will continue to work together as partners in progress for the progress of the industry and the growth of the national economy.

“You have been trying but we need you more. You have to project this industry in the way and manner we want it to be,” Mr Igbiti appealed.

On the performance of the industry, he said although there has been an improvement in terms of numbers, but judging from the nation’s population and demographic, insurance penetration in Nigeria is still very low which he said is caused by the high level of poverty in the country.

At the event included the representatives from the various arms of the industry namely the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), represented by the Director General, Mrs Yetunde Ilori; Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) represented by the Deputy President, Mr Tunde Oguntade; Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN), represented by its President, Mr. Dipo Olanrewaju.

Others who graced the occasion included the DG, CIIN Mrs Abimbola Tiamiyu; Executive Secretary/CEO, NCRIB, Mr Tope Adaramola; Assistant Director, Corporate Communications & Human Resources/Administration, NIA, Mr Davis Iyasere, among others.

The IICC was inaugurated in 2013 to act as the unifying voice of the insurance industry, representing it on national issues affecting the insurance industry, taking up and assuming other roles that would serve the best interest of the industry in Nigeria and providing lasting solutions to challenging issues within the insurance sector.

Africa Re begins 5th YIPP from November 30, 2022 – January 15, 2023

By Favour Nnabugwu
The African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) welcomes applications from suitable / qualified candidates for the 5th Cohort of the e-learning Young Insurance Professionals Programme between November 30, 2022 to January 15, 2023.
The YIPP is a free online training programme, which targets insurance/reinsurance professionals under the age of 35, working with insurance or reinsurance companies, brokerage firms, supervisory authorities or related organizations.
The programme comprises of fourteen (14) courses, which are carefully selected and well designed. These courses will build a solid foundation in insurance and reinsurance for participants, a key component for career development in the industry.
The YIPP is another milestone in the Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of Africa Re, in line with its mission of fostering the development of the insurance and reinsurance industry in Africa.
Some of the major benefits of the YIPP are that the best 10 participants will enjoy E-Certificate of Completion issued by Africa Re Group Managing Director/CEO, Dr. Corneille Karekezi
Invitation to a Capstone On-Campus or online where they will be introduced to cutting-edge managerial and leadership skills
And Sponsorship to attend one of the major insurance /reinsurance events in Africa (Africa Insurance Organisation, AIO,   The Federation of African National Insurance Companies, better known as “FANAF”   The Organisation of Eastern and Southern Africa Insurers, OESAI,  General Arab Insurance Federation  GAIF etc.).
Africa Re was established on 24th February 1976 by 36 member States of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) with the mission of fostering the development of the insurance and reinsurance industry in Africa, promoting the growth of the national, regional and sub-regional underwriting and retention capacities and supporting African economic development.
Africa Re has its headquarters in Nigeria where it started operations in 1978 and in 2021 premium income of US$629.15 million for the nine months to September 2021, an increase of 7.79% over US$583.68 million reported for the same period in 2020.
The Corporation has a subsidiary company in South Africa (African Reinsurance Corporation South Africa), a Retakaful subsidiary in Cairo, a network of six regional offices (Casablanca, Morocco; Nairobi, Kenya; Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; Port Louis, Mauritius; Cairo, Egypt and Lagos, Nigeria) and contact offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Kampala, Uganda, and Khartoum in Sudan.
West African Insurance Companies Conference to hold in Liberia

L- William Coker, CEO, WAICA; Ethel V. Knuckles, CEO, Insurance Company of Africa; Cllr and Saye D. Gbalazeh, CEO, Activa Insurance Liberia
By Favour Nnabugwu
Over 140 delegates from five  anglophone countries in West Africa are expected  to attend this year’s Annual Educational Conference of the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) in Monrovia.
The Anglophone countries in West Africa are Nigeria, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and part of Cameroon including Liberia
The theme of his year’s Annual Educational Conference is “Managing Transitions and Succession Plans in Corporate Governance: The Theory and Practice in the West African Insurance Industry.
The Annual Educational Conference, the second of two WAICA Annual events, will be held from November 27-29, 2022 at the EJS Ministerial Complex in Congo Town,
The Annual General Meeting and Annual Educational Conference of WAICA has not been held in Liberia since the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus in 2014.
Mr. Saye D. Gbalazeh, the President of Liberia Insurance Association (LIA) said the WAICA’s Annual Educational Conference will  bring together Insurance Actors from the five English-speaking countries of West Africa — Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
Selected authoritative scholars are expected to provide their professional perspectives and that the attending delegates and a team of panelists will debate the content of the presentations to develop a conference resolution.
 Mr.Gbalazeh who was the immediate past President of WAICA, that the delegates woukd include Insurance executives, marketing executives, media executives, and global reinsurance companies representatives.
“The WAICA Annual Educational Conference allows the host country and participants to find practical solutions to some of its challenges and acquire knowledge on evolving trends in the industry,” the Liberian insurance executive said.
“These include global best practices and critical reform initiatives undertaken to improve the regulatory environment and make the sector reach its fullest potential.”
William B. Coker, the Secretary-General and Chief  Executive Officer (CEO) of WAICA, said they are looking forward to a good time in the country and to support the Insurance industry in Liberia.
According to him, “WAICA intends to lobby for the industry with one voice in unity in order to develop it on a country-by-country basis.
He also said there is a harmonized program to have a unified system to provide an opportunity where Insurance companies can work across borders with limited restrictions.
It can be recalled that WAICA continued its Annual General Conference during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Gbalazeh of Liberia presided.
In May 2022,  George Y. Mensah of Ghana Reinsurance Company assumed the Presidency when that country hosted the WAICA General Assembly.
At that time, Al-Haji Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, Vice-President of Ghana, was the Keynote Speaker and outlined the significant role the insurance industry continues to play in the intra-cultural and economic development in Ghana.
The West African Insurance Companies Association was founded on May 4, 1973 with the aim to promote cooperation in every respect amongst all the insurers and reinsurers operating in the West African sub-region.
The General Assembly and Executive Committee of WAICA comprises the President, Vice-President, 5 representatives from Nigeria, 3 representatives from Ghana, 2 representatives each from the Gambia, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and an Immediate Past President. It runs a Secretariat, headed by a Secretary General.