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Strengthen Credit Control Units, Insurance Coys Told

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Determined to put an end to the problem of outstanding premium in the nation’s insurance industry, the insurance companies operating in the country have been advised to strengthen their credit control units to improve premium collection process.

The Accounting Technical Committee (ATC) of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), in its reports to the members of the association, stated that it has recommended best practices for treatment of outstanding premium in the insurance industry.

Mr. Oluwadare Emmanuel, chairman, ATC, pointed out that, “the Accounting Technical committee examined the impact of the write off the outstanding premium of more than 365 days on the financial result of insurance companies and suggested that the credit control units of insurance companies should be strengthened to improve outstanding premium collection process”.

The committee also proposes that the production of marketers should be based on cash collection and  a common software for capturing insurance transaction should be developed for insurance companies.

The problem of outstanding premium has continued unabated in the insurance industry in spite of the fact that section 50 of the Insurance Act 2003 provides that insurance companies should desist from granting insurance covers if the required premium has not been paid.

Section 50 of the Insurance Act states that, “The receipt of an insurance premium shall be a condition precedent to a valid contract of insurance and there shall be no cover in respect of an insurance risk, unless the premium paid in advance”.

As insurance companies have always claimed that majority of these outstanding premium are being owed by the insurance brokers, who indulge in the habit of not remitting premium to the insurers, both are at loggerheads with each other.

The NIA is said to be compiling list of insurance brokers that have not been remitting premium collected on behalf of insurance companies to the insurers as required by law. The association actually sent circulars to its member companies to finish it with names of insurance brothers that have been found wanting in the area of remittance of premium.

However, the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) has condemned the practice by some insurance companies who indulged in the habit of filling the books with false premium figures as a ploy to deceive the industry’s regulator.

Dede Ijere, president of the NCRIB, who spoke in Lagos, recently, pointed out that certain underwriters deliberately pad their books with false premium figures to deceive the market regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) that the outstanding were actually collected but not remitted by the brokers.

Ijere noted that this practice is not only a cheap blackmail but disgusting and unacceptable, adding that “We have, therefore, complained to NAICOM and the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) for urgent attention”.

The NCRIB boss, who was apparently trying to exonerate the brokers from accusation of withholding of premium ment, for insurance firms, stated that the NCRIB has begun moves to verify accounts with the insurance companies.

In the light of this, the NCRIB has been discussing with the NIA, the umbrella body of underwriting firm in the country, to encourage its member companies to always reconcile their premium accounts periodically with brokers and report only the reconciled and certified figures

The NCRIB also said it has given further backing to NAICOM to enforce the no premium no cover provision in the Insurance Act 2003 to prevent a situation where insurers will continue to allege that brokers are not remitting the premium due to them.

Ijere said it has also been suggested that insurance companies should be made to present Certificate of Reconciliation to authenticate outstanding premium against any given brokers.

He, therefore, called on the underwriters for urgent resuscitation of the practice of periodic joint reconciliation with brokers in monthly or bi-monthly basis.

In case any broker is found wanting, he assured that the NCRIB disciplinary committee satisfactorily handles complaints against brokers over non-payment of premium due to the insurance companies.

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Eradiri Faults NDDC Leadership Structure Wants Agric As Top Priority

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The Special Adviser to the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Youths, Udens Eradiri, has faulted the leadership structure of the commission, saying it has not helped the cause of the Niger Delta in the last 25 years.
Describing the leadership structure of the NDDC as faulty, he said that the faulty leadership structure was the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari ordered for a forensic audit in the commission.
Eradiri who is the former president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC)
disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents, last Friday, shortly on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, from Abuja. 
He said the outcome of the forensic audit would be used to do a wholistic reorganisation of the organogram of the commission.
According to him, the wholistic review of the organogram of the NDDC will help in putting the leadership structure in order, and enable things to function properly.
“The leadership structure of NDDC in the past years had been faulty, and that was why the President said there should be forensic audit, which would be used to do a wholistic review of the organogram of NDDC, so that it can function properly.
“The new board is coming soon, but the whole process will pass through the National Assembly to be cleared”, Eradiri said.
On the achievement of the present NDDC management, the special adviser said that the Effiong Akwa led administration had recorded some landmark achievements compared to the last 25 years. 
He said that the present interim management within two years completed and commissioned the headquarters of the NDDC, which had been left for over 25 years.
He also said that the completion of the East-West road project had intensified under the present management, adding that NDDC has also supported states on sanitation through donation of trucks.
Eradiri, however, admitted that the present interim management had not taken a firm stand on agricultural development even though it has been working with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
“I believe that the only tool to use and get ourselves out of the quagmire we find ourselves is agriculture, and I think that the NDDC can design its own scheme on how to grow agriculture as a deliberate policy.
“This will bring change that will grow the region’s economy. We must talk about agricultural processing, and we can put palm oil into sachet, and even students can be buying them,” he said.

By: Corlins Walter

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Nigeria Lost N851bn To Oil Theft, Sabotage   – NEITI

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Nigeria lost N851.84bn ($2.78bn) to oil theft and pipeline sabotage in 2019, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI)   has said.
NEITI said this in its latest oil and gas industry audit report.
NEITI stated that it arrived at the estimate after using an average price of $65.61 per barrel and an average exchange rate of N306.42/$ .
It, however, noted that there was a significant reduction of 21 per cent from the previous year, where 53.28 million barrels were lost.
Losses such as these are recorded by companies whose crude volumes are carried through pipelines easily compromised by saboteurs.
The report also stated that some oil terminals recorded no production. These included Aja operated by Bayelsa Oil, whose license was revoked by the government.
Others were Asaramatoru and Oyo managed by Prime and Allied/CAMAC who were reportedly inactive for the year.
Nigeria earned a total of N10.49tn ($34.22bn) from crude oil and gas sales. This was a marginal 4.88 per cent increase from 2018 revenues of N9.99tn ($32.63bn).
The total crude oil production recorded was 735.24 million barrels, a 4.87per cent increase from 701.10 million barrels reported in 2018.
A total of N2.145tn ($7.011bn) was the domestic sales proceeds in 2019 from 107.24 million barrels of crude oil. This was 0.36 per cent lower than the domestic crude sales of 107.63 million barrels in 2018.

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Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies

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Some residents in the 23 local government areas of Rivers State have urged the newly sworn-in council chairmen in the state to come up with good agricultural and developmental policies that will transform the grassroots.
They also urged the council boss to take pragmatic steps and actions towards tackling security challenges to encourage business activities thrive in their domains. 
Some of the residents who spoke with The Tide at the weekend, noted that the local government administration in the state had not faired well in terms of real development in recent times, and urged the new council helmsmen to change the narratives. 
A resident of Emohua Local Government Area, Mr Charles Amadi, noted that no real development had taken place in the area, lamenting the dearth of companies and small scale industries in the area.
He, therefore, called on the new chairman, Dr. Chidi Lyoid, not to solely depend on the monthly allocation, but to go all out to attract small scale companies to the area so as to create employment opportunities as well as generate revenue for the council.
He also urged the new chairman to invest in agriculture, especially farming and fishing.
On his part, Mr Ebenezer Otamiri who lives in Etche, urged the Etche council boss, Obinna Ayanwu, to consolidate on the achievements recorded in his first tenure, especially by building more markets for the people, as well as initiate good agricultural policy to drive the economy of the area.
He also urged the council boss to tackle the issue of electricity and security in the area, saying electricity and security are key to the development of the area. 
In his own charge, Mr Mene Geoffrey Dekaa who hails from Bori in Khana Local Government Area of the state, called on his new council chairman, Bariere Thomas, to show capacity and competence in the area of security.
He noted that the issue of security has left native imprint in the development of the area, saying many investors have left Bori, the headquarters of the council, for other places.
“Because of security challenges, many people have left Bori to build houses and invest in Nonwa- Tai, and Eleme.
“Areas like Kono-Boweeh communities are no go areas, as people there can hardly sleep. So if the chairman can work with government recognised traditional rulers and security agents, security issues will be tackled, and people’s confidence will be restored, and business activities will move on”, he said.

By: Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies

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