NiMet, Varysian Ltd sign MoU to boost service delivery

By Favour Nnabugwu



Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Varysian Limited, a United Kingdom-based weather and climate services consultancy, to partner in key areas that will lead to improved service delivery by the agency.

Speaking at the MoU signing, the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of NiMet, Professor Charles Anosike said that the MoU signing and eventual actualization will further strengthen the agency’s commitment to providing world-class weather and climate information services to Nigerians and the various industry sectors that it serves.

“We are happy to be partnering Varysian Limited. Their expertise is in enhancing partnership and collaboration between National Meteorological & Hydrological Services (NMHS) and other industry stakeholders, through world-class events, data and research”, Professor Anosike said.

“The MoU covers a lot of areas but most importantly, we will prioritize operationalizing capacity development of our staff in marine meteorology, instituting a mentorship programme for our staff with global weather and climate services organizations and improving our capacity in parametric weather insurance”, Professor Anosike concluded.

The MoU signing was witnessed by the Executive Director of Legal Services of NiMet, Barr. Shola Gabriel and other staff of the agency. The Chief Executive Officer of Varysian Limited, Tom Copping signed the MoU on behalf of Varysian, while Professor Charles Anosike signed on behalf of NiMet.

Withdrawal Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso impacted on insurance – AM Best

By Favour Nnabugwu
The potential withdrawal of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso from the Economic Community of West African States is the latest sign of political turmoil in the region, but should have relatively little impact on those countries’ insurance markets for now, according AM Best report
 Insurance penetration in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso remains low but there is solid demand for reinsurance for larger commercial risks, including retrocession into international markets.
Commercial relationships between domestic insurers and regional reinsurers are likely to persist, even if the trio withdraw from regional political, customs and economic unions.
However, departure from the Conférence Interafricaine des Marchés d’Assurances (CIMA) community could have regulatory implications for those countries’ (re)insurers.
AM Best analysts continue to monitor developments. (Re)insurance markets in West Africa are likely to remain largely unaffected by the political and
economic uncertainty besetting parts of the region, according to analysis from AM Best.
Five West African countries—Gabon, Guinea, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso—have experienced military coups since 2020. More recently three of those countries—Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso—have signalled their intention to leave the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a political and economic union of 15 states, and set up their own trading bloc, the Alliance of Sahel States/l’Alliance des États du Sahel.
Withdrawal from ECOWAS requires 12 months written notice, which each of the three submitted at the end of January. However, there is some speculation that the junta-led nations are looking to secure concessions from ECOWAS rather than to fully withdraw.
In a separate sign of regional upheaval, Senegal—regarded as one of the region’s more politically stable countries—looks set to experience a wave of instability following its president’s decision to postpone the 25 February presidential election until the end of 2024. 
This has prompted anger among some political rivals and drawn condemnation from ECOWAS.Potential ECOWAS Withdrawal
The threat of withdrawal from ECOWAS by Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso had been widely predicted. The three countries have accused ECOWAS of straying from pan-African principles and falling under the influence of external forces such as France, the US, UK and the European
Reports suggest Western governments fear the three countries are becoming more closely aligned with China and Russia
West Africa Tensions
ECOWAS had imposed economic sanctions on each of the trio’s transitional governments and had demanded elections within a reasonable timeframe. The sanctions added to inflationary pressures in each of the affected countries, and while some of them sanctions were lifted in July 2022, political resentment has remained.
As a result of the sanctions, borders between the three countries and other ECOWAS members were largely closed except for essential supplies, and economic activity with other ECOWAS members was severely curtailed.
Reports suggest the trio are seeking bilateral trade arrangements with neighbouring countries, notably Togo, either individually or under the auspices of the newly formed Alliance of Sahel
Criticism has also been levelled by the trio towards the CFA Franc, the common currency of The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), a customs and currency union of eight ECOWAS countries established in 1994. Preliminary discussions of withdrawal from UEMOA and establishment of a separate currency have taken place, although Mali has stated its intention to remain part of UEMOA, despite its ECOWAS withdrawal.
Insurance Implications
Insurance markets in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso remain relatively small and immature.
Political upheaval in those countries is unlikely to significantly affect the levels of demand for Insurance, AM Best believes. Penetration rates (currently around 1%) are likely to remain low, especially for personal lines, though commercial risks will still require reinsurance.
This is predominantly provided through mandated cessions to national and regional carriers (and retroceded to international markets) and traditional reinsurance buying.
Despite solid growth in capital in recent years, the capacity offered by Africa-domiciled reinsurers remains low, and insufficient to meet the needs of local primary markets fully, particularly where
major property and energy risks are concerned.
As the region’s economies have industrialised, their insurance needs have grown at a faster pace than the local market’s capacity. This is evidenced by rising levels of premium written but declining levels of retention for sub-Sahara African reinsurers who have relied on retrocession to provide capacity. As well as capacity, local players often lean on more sophisticated global reinsurers for the expertise needed to underwrite complex risks.
The region remains attractive as a profitable market for international reinsurers, in part because of the relative lack of natural catastrophe exposures, in conjunction with the market’s profitability. Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso are members of the Conférence Interafricaine des Marchés d’Assurances (CIMA), an organisation established in its current form in 1992 with the aim of harmonising insurance regulations among member countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Insurers operating within CIMA face restrictions on the amount of business they can cede to reinsurers outside the regulatory bloc. Locally licensed insurers
There are also compulsory reinsurance cessions to CICA-Re and Africa Re, and certain member countries also require local insurers to cede a portion of their business to state reinsurers, such as
Société Commerciale Gabonaise de Réassurance in Gabon.
AM Best considers the relationships between local insurers and regional insurers to be commercial rather than purely driven by regulation. As such, even if the trio were to leave ECOWAS, AM Best would expect insurers in those three countries to continue to cede business to the cadre of regional reinsurers, much as they do today. However, as the situation generates increased risks (in particular 
political) for reinsurers, reinsurance and retrocession rates are likely to be adjusted accordingly.
None of the trio have given an indication of any change to their future involvement with CIMA.
However, if any of those countries were to leave that community there would be regulatory implications for their domestic insurers as insurance regulation is managed through CIMA
AM Best recognises that insurers in the three countries could see some negative repercussions were they to withdraw from ECOWAS and especially from UEMOA, albeit with the impact being
Although Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso together account for nearly a quarter of the population of ECOWAS, the three countries make up only 8% of the community’s gross domestic product (GDP).
There is more concern that the exit of these countries from the community could further affect the flow of goods and services. Any increase in costs would likely have a knock-on effect on insurance claims costs, potentially causing a spike in claims inflation.
Furthermore, there would likely be a more limited range of assets in which domestic insurers could invest.
Withdrawing from ECOWAS would end the free movement of persons between Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso and other members of the community.
That could contribute to greater trade frictions, and further increase inflation. That upward pressure on costs would likely be exacerbated in countries leaving the customs union of UEMOA.
In general, AM Best views these countries similarly to other emerging markets: Domestic (re)insurers’ enterprise risk management (ERM) and solvency are affected by high levels of risk, compounded by relatively unsophisticated capital management, compared to more mature markets
However, similar to other emerging markets, their domestic insurers benefit from good growth and technical margins.
Africa Re, ATIDI, AFC, others found AAMFI

By Favour Nnabugwu 
Some financial institutions created through treaties between African states have come together under the umbrella of the Alliance of African Multilateral Financial Institutions (AAMFI).
The founding members, including. African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re), Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Trade and Development Bank Group (TDB Group), African Trade and Investment Development Insurance (ATIDI), Shelter Afrique Development Bank (SHAFDB), and ZEP-RE (PTA Reinsurance Co.), have converged under the banner of AAMFI to synergize efforts in promoting sustainable economic growth and integration aligned with the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Through this alliance, these financial institutions are planning to work together to contribute to the continent’s economic development.
Under the mandate of AAMFI, the Alliance members commit to collaborate to address Africa’s development finance needs, promote the interests of member states, advocate for Africa on global finance issues, develop innovative finance tools, and support sustainable finance strategies. AAMFI’s formation underscores Africa’s commitment to self-reliance and sustainable economic development, leveraging home-grown solutions and resources for the continent’s advancement.
AAMFI’s mandate extends beyond conventional financial cooperation. It seeks to address the specific needs of African sovereigns and facilitate their access to essential financing mechanisms. It will also stand as a strong voice and advocate for African financial interests and concerns on the global stage. Leveraging the expertise and resources of its member institutions, AAMFI is poised to catalyze growth across various sectors, including infrastructure, trade, and investment.
On behalf of its members, Prof. Benedict O. Oramah, inaugural Chair of the Governing Council of the Alliance of African Multilateral Financial Institutions (AAMFI), stated that as Africa embarks on a journey towards prosperity, the Alliance of African Multilateral Financial Institutions stands as a beacon of hope and solidarity.
“Through collaborative efforts and unwavering commitment, the Alliance  will work  to develop unique solutions and joint financing tools and instruments tailored to Africa’s unique developmental needs and pool resources for their effective deployment.”
In addition, AAMFI pledges to protect and promote the interests of member states and shareholders, ensuring their voices are amplified on the global stage.
The inauguration and the declaration signing was attended and witnessed by several African Heads of State and Government, including H.E. William S. Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya; H.E. Mohamed Al-Menfi, President of the Presidential Council of the State of Libya; H.E. Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia; H.E. Ntsokoane Samuel Matekane, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho and H.E. Mr. Mbella Mbella Lejeune, Minister of Foreign Affairs, representing H.E. Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon.
Insurfeel Initiative protects young folks with school fees insurance plan

By Favour Nnabugwu
Determined to help the younger generation especially students mitigate their risks, Insurfeel Initiative has rolled plans to donate School Fees Protection Plan to university and secondary students  across the country.
The donation which is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) concept is done in partnership with notable reinsurance firms.
The Promoter of Insurfeel Initiative Chuks Udo Okonta, said the organisation is presently in talks with the selected schools, adding that the policy would be donated to the students very soon.
He noted that the donation exercise is part of the organisation’s one million insurance cover give away for 2024/2025.
According to him, Insurfeel Initiative focus on students is aimed at enhancing academic excellence by creating risk free environment for students.
He noted that the cover which runs for a year, would expose the students to insurance and subsequently stimulate their interest to secure their lives and properties with insurance as they grow.
Okonta submitted that School Fees Protection Plan underwriting by Universal Insurance Plc and some insurance firm to be engaged soon, would provide payment of school fees to the named Beneficiary (or Guardian, Trustee or School in case of a minor) of the insured parent/Guardian in event of the following occurring: Permanent disability resulting from an accident and Death.
He stressed that under the cover, the students would enjoy: Medical expenses worth, N150,000; Permanent disability benefit, N500,000; Death benefit, N500,000
On their guardian (parent), he said  the students will have: Permanent disability benefit of N700,000; Death benefit, N700,000.
Okonta implored individuals, groups, associations and organisations that are committed to corporate social responsibility to join hards with Insurfeel Initiative in donating insurance covers to the insured in the society.
He reiterated his position that donating insurance is far more cheaper than donating money to people when faced with mishap.
He noted that donation of insurance covers to the uninsured remains one of the best means to spread insurance gospel and deepen penetration.
Allianz announces operating profit of €14.7bn in 2023

By Favour Nnabugwu



Insurance giant, Allianz has reported a record operating profit of €14.7 billion for the full year 2023, an increase of 6.7% from €13.8 billion in the previous year.

Insurance giant Allianz has reported a record operating profit of €14.7 billion for the full year 2023, an increase of 6.7% from €13.8 billion in the previous year, driven primarily by the Life/Health (L&H) business segment.

Total business volume grew 5.5% to €161.7 billion in 2023, which Allianz attributes to its Property and Casualty (P&C) business segment on the back of positive price and volume effects, supported by the performance of its L&H segment driven by growth in the US.

Core net income grew from €7 billion in 2022 to €9.1 billion in 2023, driven by an improved operating profit in the current period, as net income increased 33% year-on-year to €8.5 billion.

By segment, P&C delivered total business volume growth of 8.4% to €76.5 billion, as operating profit rose 1.2% to €6.9 billion for FY23, driven by a higher operating investment result, partly offset by lower other operating and insurance service results.

The P&C combined ratio increased by 0.6 percentage points to 93.8% for full year 2023. The loss ratio jumped 0.9 percentage points to 69.3% mainly due to higher claims from natural catastrophes and less run-off. Allianz notes that this was partially offset by a favourable impact from discounting and an improvement in the expense ratio by 0.3 percentage points to 24.6% driven by the acquisition cost ratio.

In its L&H business, Allianz has reported that the present value of new business premiums grew to €67.3 billion from €66.2 billion in 2022, driven by higher volume in the US and Allianz Re, the firm’s reinsurance arm. L&H operating profit increased by €1 billion year-on-year to €5.2 billion, while the contractual service margin increased from €52.2 billion to €52.6 billion.

The new business margin remained stable at 5.9%, while the value of new business jumped to €4 billion in 2023 from €3.9 billion in 2022.

In its asset management business, Allianz has reported operating revenues softened 1.8% to €8.1 billion in 2023, with higher performance fees offset by lower AuM-driven revenues. Operating profit in the business totalled €3.1 billion in 2023, down €100 million year-on-year.

Third-party assets under management were €1.712 trillion for 2023, up €77 billion year-on-year, as total assets under management were €2.224 trillion, up €82 billion on 2022.

For 2024, the re/insurer has targeted an operating profit of €14.8 billion, plus or minus €1 billion.

Oliver Bäte, Chief Executive Officer, Allianz, commented, “Allianz extended our track record of delivering a record operating profit and core net income, consolidating our leading position as one of the world’s most resilient global insurers and active asset managers.

“Our results demonstrate the trust that our customers place in Allianz, and in the resilience and potential of our business model and our people. Our Property-Casualty business saw strong growth while we supported our customers affected by elevated levels of natural catastrophes. Our Life/Health segment delivered profitable growth as we developed attractive solutions to protect our customers from the effects of inflation on their savings, and in our Asset Management business, we achieved robust net inflows in a volatile capital market environment.

“The discipline of our strategy, execution, and capital management bolsters our operating profit outlook for 2024, our new dividend policy, and our renewed share buy-back program. In the coming year, we will continue to focus on unlocking the benefits of our scale to further increase our productivity, and on converting our excellent customer experience into profitable customer growth.”

Claire-Marie Coste-Lepoutre, Chief Financial Officer, Allianz, said: “We’ve achieved another year of record results and all operating segments finished the year above or close to their operating profit target mid-points.

“In our Property-Casualty business we recorded strong revenue growth, driven by healthy pricing and higher volumes. Growth was spread across our entities, reflecting the strength of our diversified global franchise. Our focus on technical excellence helped us to successfully mitigate the impact of inflation on our operating profit, which faced an above-average level of natural catastrophes. Our investment result benefited from higher interest rates.

“The operating profit in our Life/Health segment exceeded our outlook mid-point and was also well above the prior year. Our value creation is supported by a healthy new business margin that we maintained by providing attractive solutions to our clients, allowing us to record a solid new business development.

“In Asset Management, our operating profit was above our outlook mid-point, and we achieved positive net inflows in a volatile market environment. A competitive cost-income ratio and an increase in our third-party assets under management bode well for future profitability.

“We will continue to focus on generating attractive and sustainable returns for all of our stakeholders while not compromising on our resilience. We enter 2024 with confidence and target a full-year operating profit of 14.8 billion euros, plus or minus 1 billion euros.”

Otedola, Dangote, Adenuga, Rabiu amongst Forbes Africa 20 billionaires

By Favour Nnabugwu
Four Nigerians made the list of Forbes Africa’s 20 billionaires worth a combined $82.4 billion.
The four billionaires are Femi Otedola Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga and AbdulSamad Rabiu
In this Forbes Africa Billionaires list,  South Africa claims six spots on the ranking, followed by Egypt with five and Nigeria with four. Algeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe each have one billionaire on the list, while Morocco has two.
The fortunes of Africa’s wealthiest people have rebounded slightly in the past 12 months, reversing the decline in their fortunes from a year ago, though they are still off their all-time highs.
The 20 billionaires on the 2024 Forbes list of Africa’s Richest are worth a combined $82.4 billion. That’s up $900 million from last year’s $81.5 billion.
All of that gain can be attributed to the return of Nigeria’s Femi Otedola, who last appeared on the Forbes Africa list in 2017 when he held a controlling stake in fuel distributor Forte Oil. Otedola phased out his oil investments during a government push to privatize the country’s energy business in 2013, using a Forte subsidiary to purchase Geregu, a public power generation plant
 He owned about 90% of Geregu when it was listed on the Nigerian exchange’s Main Board in 2022, but has since sold shares to institutional investors, which include Afreximbank’s Fund for Export Development in Africa and the State Grid Corporation of China. His 73% stake in Geregu is worth more than $850 million, about three-quarters of his $1.1 billion fortune, which puts him at No. 19 on the list.
After taking Otedola’s comeback into account, Africa’s billionaires dipped slightly, but still fared better than the decline of 4% last year, when African markets faded in sync with equity values around the world. This year, African equities joined a late-year global rally, with the S&P All Africa index rising 10% in the final two months of 2023 but still ended down more than 9% in the 12 months through January 8, 2024.
The continent remains one of the world’s toughest places to build and hold onto – a billion-dollar fortune, as global investors remain leery of its stock exchanges, businesses struggle against strained economies, poor infrastructure and volatile exchange rates, while changing political winds can make, boost or bust private fortunes.
That environment favors entrenched family fortunes or those with close ties to government that continue to dominate the ranks of Africa’s richest. Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, whose fortune rose $400 million to $13.9 billion, claimed the ranking’s No. 1 spot for the 13th year in a row, despite the political uncertainty following the February presidential election and a devaluation of the naira in 2023 that offset the rising share price of Dangote Cement.
Adenuga, Nigeria’s second richest man, built his fortune in telecom and oil production.
With a net worth of $6.9 billion; Rank in 2023: 6; Net worth in 2023: $5.6 billion
Self-made Origin of wealth: Telecom and oil; Industry: Diversified; Age: 70
Country: Nigeria; Residence: Lagos
His mobile phone network, Globacom, is the second- largest operator in Nigeria, with 60 million subscribers.
His oil exploration outfit, Conoil Producing, operates six oil blocks in the Niger Delta.
Globacom also built Glo-1, a 6,100-mile-long submarine Internet cable to the U.K. via Ghana and Portugal.
Adenuga also owns 74% of publicly traded gasoline firm Conoil and just under 6% of publicly traded Nigerian bank Sterling Financial Holding.
Abdulsamad Rabiu is the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate active in cement production, sugar refining and real estate.
He has a net worth of $5.9 billion; Rank in 2023: 4; Net worth in 2023: $7.6 billion Inherited and growing; Origin of wealth: Cement and Sugar; Industry: Diversified
Age: 63; Country: Nigeria; Residence: Lagos
In early January 2020, Rabiu merged his privately-owned Obu Cement company with listed firm Cement Co. of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled. The combined firm, called BUA Cement Plc, trades on the Nigerian stock exchange; Rabiu owns 98.2% of it. He also owns 95% of publicly traded food conglomerate BUA Foods.
Rabiu, the son of a businessman, inherited land from his father. He set up his own business in 1988 importing iron, steel and chemicals.
South African luxury goods magnate Johann Rupert held onto the No. 2 spot with $10.1 billion, down from $10.7 billion in 2023 as shares of his Compagnie Financiere Richemont – maker of Cartier watches and Montblanc pens – slid. South African Nicky Oppenheimer, who formerly ran diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to mining firm Anglo American a decade ago, ranks No. 3, with $9.4 billion, up $1 billion from 2023. Thirteen of the billionaires added to their fortunes this year, while seven saw their net worth decline.
South Africa’s Christoffel Wiese, who rejoined the ranking last year at No. 18 with $1.1 billion after rebounding from an accounting scandal, holds onto his No. 18 rank with a $1.2 billion net worth, thanks to rising shares of his largest holding, Shoprite, and the spinoff of food business Premiere Group from Brait PLC. Wiese also cashed out on $50 million worth of Shoprite stock in October, reducing his stake in the supermarket chain.
The biggest decline on this year’s list belongs to Algerian industrial magnate Issad Rebrab, who was barred by a court in May from exercising any commercial or management duties at his conglomerate Cevital. Rebrab, who denied any wrongdoing, had previously served eight months in jail on corruption charges until his release in January 2020. Rebrab, who shares the wealth with his wife and five children – including his son, Malik, who took over as CEO in 2022 – saw his net worth fall by almost half to $2.5 billion.
The biggest gain belongs to Egypt’s Nassef Sawiris, who added $1.4 billion to $8.7 billion thanks to a rise in Adidas shares (he owns about 6%), as well as dividends from the German sneaker company and family conglomerate OCI.
NiMet, Sahel Consulting sign MOU to promote resilient agricultural system in Nigeria

By Favour Nnabugwu



Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sahel Consulting to build sustainable climate monitoring and address early warnings system bottlenecks for resilient agricultural systems in Nigeria.

During the signing of the MoU yesterday, the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of NiMet, Professor Charles Anosike stressed the importance of early warnings as a measure to protect citizens.

“The importance of Early Warnings System cannot be over emphasized and we are willing to partner with any organization that is capable of investing in preparedness. This will help protect our population who should and must be protected by early warnings of climate disaster”, he said.

The Climate Early Warnings project is to be executed by Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited, in collaboration with a consortium of implementing partners including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and NiMet.

The project will include the provision of six Meteorological Automatic weather Observation Systems (AWOS) in Nigeria and setting up of a Mapping Room. It will also include capacity development for staff of NiMet and other government ministries, departments and agencies in Nigeria.

The implementation team includes members from International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) of Columbia University, New York, USA among others.

Yemi Adegoroye signed the MoU on behalf of Sahel Consulting and the consortium, while Professor Charles Anosike signed on behalf of NiMet.

Abuja, Kogi Nasarawa, others to experience onset of rain

By Favour Nnabugwu
The annual Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted that North Central area including Abuja, Kogi, Plateau, Kwara, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa will suffer onset of rain for the 2024.
While the SCP also forecasted that Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi states will have their rainy season onset in May, 2024.
The report was unveiled on Tuesday by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Barr. Festus Keyamo, SAN.
The report also predicted an early end of the rainy season in “parts of Yobe, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa Taraba, Gombe, Bauchi, Cross River, Ebonyi, Ogun, and Lagos states.” The rainy season is predicted to end in October 2024.
According to the report, a normal onset is likely to occur over states like Borno, Abia, and Akwa Ibom states. They are predicted to have an early onset when compared to their long-term averages.
However, a late cessation is predicted over the southern states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Ondo, Ekiti, and parts of Edo, Delta, Ogun, Oyo, Kogi, Kwara, FCT, Niger, and Kaduna.
NiMet also predicted that the annual rainfall amount is predicted to be below normal over parts of Yobe, Jigawa, Bauchi, Kano, Kebbi, Gombe, Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa, Benue, Enugu, Ebonyi, Cross River, Delta and Bayelsa states when compared to their long term normal. However, other parts of the country are likely to observe normal to above-normal annual rainfall amounts.
Most parts of the country are expected to experience a shorter length of season, however, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Akwa-Ibom are likely to experience a longer length of season when compared with their mean. Normal to shorter length of season will likely occur in other parts of the country.
The Minister, Mr. Keyamo encourages “all stakeholders to evaluate the predictions thoroughly and strategically, to build adaptive capacity and resilience against climate variability within your respective sectors.”
“It is my desire that the content of the document enables policymakers to plan activities, allocate resources effectively, and protect our citizens from the adverse impacts of weather” he said.
“As we gather here today, we know the important role of accurate and timely climate predictions in shaping our preparedness and responses to ever-changing weather events. The information we are about to unveil today represents a roadmap for our communities, businesses, and policymakers to navigate the upcoming 2024 seasons’ he further stated
NIA working to improve public trust, confidence

By Favour Nnabugwu 
The Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Mr. Olusegun Omosehin, said the NIA is working tirelessly to ensure improvement in public trust and confidence on the Nigerian Insurance industry.
He made this known during a media parley with members of the Nigerian Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE) in Lagos recently.
He said one of the challenges the industry is facing is the issue of lack of trust and confidence in the industry by the insuring populace, stating that the NIA is working hard to enhance the industry’s credibility by encouraging members to pay claims promptly.
“The only thing as an Association we think that can help boost public trust and confidence in the industry is to encourage members to pay claims because timely claims payment is the beauty of insurance business.
“We discuss this extensively in all our Governing Council meetings. Severally we have descended on our members when we hear the report of unpaid claims.
This led to the publications we have done currently. We have done three publications where we asked members of the public with genuine unpaid claims to come forward for payment.
“What we also found out is that some of the issue around claims has to do with the genuineness of some of those claims. Many times we have grappled with issues of fake claims by some members of the public, who even went ahead to use this to blackmail the industry,” NIA Chairman stated.
He said the Association is doing everything within their power to make sure that members abide by the rules of the business, adding that some of the ways they have done this is by sanctioning erring members who have not been able to meet their business obligations.
On the insurance Bill, he said since the Bill was not accented to during the 9th Assembly, the industry has commenced work again to make sure that the Bill is passed by the present administration.
“We have started engagement with the 10th Assembly and we are hopeful….Since most of the administration jobs have been done, the process is going to be fast-tracked…. Also because of the dynamic nature of policies, some might need to be updated. A great deal of work has been done in that regard and we are hopeful we are going to get it through,” he assured.
On the Third Party Motor Insurance, he said the report so far received is encouraging, adding that a total of 3.1 million uploads have been made in 2023 compared to 3.7 recorded in 2022.
He said although the response from the public is encouraging, it should not be forgotten that the present situation is caused by the country’s economic situation.
Speaking on what the industry is doing to deepen insurance growth; he said the industry is embarking on a 10-year roadmap launched in Abuja in November 2023, and also collaborating with various state governments to domesticate insurance laws that will enhance insurance uptake in those states, amongst other initiatives.
On NIA, he said the body is embarking on some initiatives that will bring credibility as well as engender public trust and confidence in the industry.
Some of those initiatives, he said, are the ongoing publication of lists of unclaimed Claims in the national newspapers calling on the people to come forward for their claims; the NIA Enlightenment awareness Campaign on Radio and Television stations; collaboration with the Federal Government, National Insurance Commission and other Federal Agencies responsible for the enforcement of laws to ensure enforcement of compulsory insurances.
He said there is a need to liberalize distribution channels in order to break the jinx of insurance penetration.
“One of the challenges we have in the industry is that the distribution channels are so limited so we need to liberalize it. Yes, the Brokers will remain Brokers because they are professionals, but if you look at the way the market is structured, Brokers have taken Government Business and even Corporate Business but in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), where most of them relate with you, and I, so you are more influential in your Church, Mosque. We want to make it interesting for people to pick up agency as a means of income generation for themselves.
“We are also looking at a couple of other areas in terms of products, technology, and governance. We need to strengthen our governance structure to ensure we can operate more effectively. We will also look at how we can be proactive in terms of management of our investments because of the volatility that we have seen in that segment,” Omosehin added.
On the 2024 Insurance Outlook, he said “The virile insurance industry is built at the back of a virile economy. The bedrock of every economy is Insurance, however, the enabling environment for this business must be right. There must be an environment that encourages investment. We are operating in a very volatile environment.
“Part of what we have done is to encourage our members to be a lot more proactive in their planning. Oftentimes, you see people who plan for twelve months. In an environment like this, you have to break your plans into quarter by quarter.
“We believe so much in the economy. Things are tough right now because of the choices we have made as a country. Some key elements are fundamental to our business such as security; stability in the political system is key; stability in the Foreign Exchange Market is also key; because the manufacturing sector must continue to survive, many of them rely on the provision of raw materials and what have you; agriculture sector is critical, many of them rely on types of equipment and implements which are imported.
“We believe in the stability and the structure of the system and the commitment of the leadership. As a sector, we are prepared to weather the storm, to see that we remain in the market as business institutions and individuals,” he assured.
NiMet, NIM to sign MoU on training

L-Professor Charles Anosike, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and Dr. Mrs Christiana Atako, President and Chairman of council, Nigerian Institute of Management in Abuja today
By Favour Nnabugwu
The Director General and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Professor Charles Anosike, on Monday, hosted the President and Chairman of council of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Dr. Mrs Christiana Atako, and council members of the institute at NiMet office in Abuja.
One of the key point of discussion included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU on training between the two agencies.
Speaking during the visit, Dr. Mrs Christiana Atako said; “On behalf of the council of Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), I congratulate you, the Director General/Chief Executive Officer (NiMet), on your appointment last December by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, to lead this important agency of government.
Your appointment is as befitting as it is deserving and your well known pedigree of performance in your previous assignments has prepared you adequately for the challenges ahead.
 The Institute which you belong to as a Fellow is proud of you and believes that you will make a success of this new assignment. The signs of what you are bringing to the table to move the Agency forward are already showing with the great managerial and leadership direction you have provided so far”.
Atako further informed the DG/CEO of NiMet, Prof. Charles Anosike of the services NIM offers which will be beneficial to the Agency. These include but are not limited to executive training and intensive training for the membership admission programme.
Concluding, the NIM President and Council Chairman requested that the management of NiMet consider paying outstanding membership dues of staff members as a way of motivating the affected staff.
She also requested that NiMet considers sponsoring staff to attend the 2024 Annual National Management Conference (ANMC) of the institute holding in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, from 22nd to 24th September.
Responding, the DG/CEO of NiMet, Prof Charles Anosike thanked the NIM council for honouring him with the visit.
“Management is the organizing principle of any institution. NiMet’s workforce are focused on delivering on the mandate given to us by our Honourable Minister, Festus Keyamo, SAN, drawn from the Aviation Sector Roadmap for Nigeria. Part of that mandate is staff development.
The science of meteorology requires proper management and coordination. As you are aware, NiMet is a scientific organization and we have several smart people and Professors working in the Agency. We welcome the idea to collaborate with the Nigerian Institute of Management”.
Continuing, Prof. Anosike said; “We need to define the terms of the collaboration with NIM by signing an MoU which will outline the responsibilities and expectations from both NiMet and NIM. We are aware that NIM has over 200,000 members so this is good and presents an opportunity for shared experiences.
 We will use the joint platforms of NiMet and NIM to promote the science of meteorology and management, and expose these professions to young persons”.