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NAICOM Should Resolve Insurance Hiccups – FG

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The Federal Government has explained that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) Act 1997 and the Insurance Act 2003 were being reviewed to provide an effective framework for insurance business in Nigeria, even as it urged the newly reconstituted Board of NAICOM to resolve all issues confronting the regulatory agency in discharge of its mandates.
The Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Remi Babalola, who spoke while inaugurating the NAICOM board under the chairmanship of a former Minister, Hajiya Inna Maryam Ciroma expressed hope that Board would be strictly guided by the provisions of the Acts after its enactment to ensure international best practice.
Presently, he stressed the need for the Board to be more pragmatic and innovative in resolving “Issues militating against the full realisation of the objectives of the commission such as poor underwriting practice, excessive risk appetite, lack of integrity, lack of autonomy and in appropriate pressure for short-term returns.”
According to Mr. Babalola, “these issues must be addressed by the Board. Your roles as Board members are strategic rather than operational. You must give the desired direction to the management.”
He said that the members of the board must justify the confidence reposed on the board by the government by operating within the confines of the NAICOM Act 2003.
Part II Section 9 (a-d) of the Act provides the mandate of the board including, to manage and supervise the affairs of the commission, for the overall policy and general administration, of the commission an act in the name of the commission.
Also, to recommend to the minister from time to time the rates of the contributions to be made by insurance institutions to funds of the commission, and to do such other things and enter into such transactions which in its opinion are necessary to ensure the efficient performance of its functions under the Act or any other enactment.
The Minister noted that the insurance sector which is part of the financial system is expected to play a vital role in the federal government’s efforts to move the economy forward. “The sector represents an important component in the financial intermediation chain and remains the backbone of Nigeria’s risk management systems”, he said.
In her response on behalf of the Board members, the Board chairman, Hajiya Inna Maryam Ciroma, expressed gratitude to the president, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua for considering them worthy of the board.
She assured that the member would betray the confidence reposed on them saying, “we assure you that we will serve diligently to the realisation of the Federal Government’s Financial System Strategy (FSS 2020)”.
“We will lift the insurance sector forward to play its role in the nation’s economy in line with international best practice.”
The members of the new NAICOM Board to be inaugurated include: Hajiya Inna Ciroma as chairman of the Board, Senator Collins Ndu, Mr. Oluwatayo Boye, Alhaji Aminu Ahmed Tapeco, and the Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive Officer of NAICOM, Mr. Fola Daniel.

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Economic Growth, Determining Factor For Policies In 2023  – Stockbrokers

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Chairman of Research and Technology at the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Mr. Akeem Oyewale, has said that economic growth and development should be the determining factor in policies ahead of 2023.
Oyewale, who said this recently at the institute’s Annual National Economic Review and Outlook 2022 webinar  in Lagos, urged policy makers to act in a spirit of justice and tolerance to avoid acts that could lead to violence in the run-up to the 2023.
Speaking on the topic: “Global Dynamics Shaping Nigeria‘s Economic Future”, Oyewale listed factors such as the process leading up to the 2023 general elections, the response to Omicron, and the effects of COVID-19, as what would also determine the growth of the nation’s economic development.
He used the fora to urge the Federal Government to intensify its engagement with Nigeria’s capital market to better smoothly finance the 2022 budget deficit without increasing borrowing.
Oyewale also directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to fully consider the effects on the capital market when making monetary and fiscal policies.
According to him, the philosophy of building an economy led by the private sector enshrined in the National Development Plan must be strictly adhered to.
On the need for new listings, Oyewale said Nigeria National Petroleum Company’s trading should continue with the public listing of its shares on the stock market.
This, he explained, would give Nigerians the opportunity to co-own one of the country’s commanding heights.
“The CBN and banks should grant trading facilities to securities trading firms in the country to maintain optimism in the capital market”, he said.
Speaking further, he urged pension funds and other institutional investors to increase their investment in the stock market to create much-needed stability and encourage new investment.
Earlier, President of the CIS Council, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe,  said the institute would continue with initiatives that would enhance its growth and development in 2022.
Amolegbe stated that CIS would undertake activities that would promote capital market literacy in all geopolitical zones of the country, saying that he would strengthen collaboration with international professional bodies such as CISI UK and others for the benefit of their members.
He continued that the institute was working to increase the number of Nigerian universities offering graduate and undergraduate courses in securities and investment/capital market studies.
“Our vision by 2023 is to see the Securities and Investments profession registered in the hearts of young Nigerian academics as their preferred career path and CIS as the model to be followed by other professional bodies,” he concluded.

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PenCom Completes Review Of Pension Reform Act 2014

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The regulatory body of the Nigerian Pension Industry, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) says it has deliberated on the review of the Pension Reform Act 2014 (PRA 2014).
This was contained in a statement to newsmen signed by Peter Aghahowa, Head, Corporate Communications of PenCom, who disclosed that the regulator organised the retreat on the review of PRA 2014 in Abuja between January 12 and 14.
According to Aghahowa, the retreat was aimed at identifying salient issues to be reviewed in the PRA 2014 as a prelude to advancing legislative action on the bill.
Aghahowa said it is expected that the National Assembly would subsequently organise a public hearing to provide an avenue for stakeholders to formally make input into the proposed amendments.
He also said that the PRA 2014 was enacted following a review of the initial PRA of 2004, which introduced legal and institutional frameworks of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and established PenCom to regulate and supervise all pension matters in Nigeria.
According to him, the Director-General of PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, during the opening ceremony of the retreat, had informed the participants that the PRA 2014 codified one of the most important socio-economic reform initiatives of the Federal Government.
He continued that she said this has brought about a pension industry that has accumulated pension assets in excess of N13 trillion invested in various aspects of the Nigerian economy.
He quoted her as saying that “the review is a corollary to some implementation challenges encountered with certain sections of the Act not long after its enactment in July 2014.
“This was also an addition to persistent calls from stakeholders for the amendment of some sections of the Act, which resulted in several legislative initiatives through the sponsorship of Bills for amendment of the PRA 2014 by the National Assembly.
“Consequently, the Commission as the regulator of the pension industry, decided to coordinate and harmonize the various efforts in order to achieve a comprehensive and constructive exercise for the review of PRA 2014”, he concluded.

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Speed Up Resolutions On Tax Disputes, FIRS Urges Tribunals

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The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Mamman Nami, has called on chairmen and commissioners of the Tax Appeals Tribunals (TAT) to devise appropriate mechanisms to achieve early and speedy resolution of tax disputes.
Nami made the appeal in Abuja recently at the opening of a two-day retreat on the new TAT ‘Procedure’ Rules and e-Filing platform.
He advised members of the tribunal to also pay attention to the public concern on the inconsistency in Order III (6) of the new TAT (Procedure) Rules and Paragraph 15(7) of the 5th Schedule to the FIRS (Establishment) Act to avoid litigations.
“I commend the commissioners for contributing to the development of the tax jurisprudence through the delivery of sound judgments.
According to him, from available reports, they have always exhibited a high level of commitment, probity and transparency in the discharge of their responsibilities.
“I want to also use this medium to appreciate and thank the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and all those who contributed to the development of the new TAT (Procedure Rules) and the e-filling platform.
“These two landmark achievements are expected to improve the efficiency of the tribunals for timely and quicker delivery of judgments, which in turn, will improve compliance and collection,” he said.

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