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NAICOM Tasks Insurers On Professionalism

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The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has called on insurance practitioners to be professionals to the core.

Mr. Fola Daniel, the commissioner for insurance (CFI) who made this assertion noted that insurers’ words must be their bonds.

On the Market Development and Research Initiative (MDRI) being pursued by NAICOM, Daniel stated that if insurance operators must propel the people to insure under the compulsory insurance programme, then underwriters must not under any guise fail to meet genuine claim settlement, rather their word must be their bond.

In his words, “The relevance of ethics and integrity to insurance business cannot be over emphasised. Where they exist, it breeds trusts, confidence and creates a boost in business generation.”

“The non-existence of these virtues amongst some practioners has helped in giving the industry a negative image. We cannot continue in this path any longer. There must be a change of attitude and behavior amongst practitioners. We cannot continue to do the same thing all the time and expect a different a different result.”

He noted that in all of these, operators must key in to discipline and professionalism as the Nigerian populace are looking up to insurance industry as an important bastion of security in the face of collapse being witnessed in other financial services sector, “we must not be a harbinger of corruption and improper dealings.”

“For those who will continue to relate as if anything and everything is possible, let me warn that Naicom will deal decisively with aberration and will also collaborate actively  with other regulatory and security agencies to curb market misbehaviour,” Daniel reiterated.

Naicom has warned that under the current reforms taking place in the insurance industry, it would no longer condone a situation where the managing director of an underwriting company has on the sideline a private broking firm as well as a loss adjusting firm.

“This is unethical and it should not be encouraged. There are cases of chief executive officer of an underwriting firm having a broking firm, giving businesses to the company where he is CEO, yet there are issues of outstanding premiums. This will soon be a thing of the past”.

Mr. Sunday Thomas, Naicom director, in charge of inspection who made this notion said in most cases, the success of the managing director’s privately owned companies depend largely on at least 80 per cent of his time and energy. He said this was clearly a case of conflict of interest and divided loyalty and it is unethical.

Henceforth, he said, any managing director that must own a broking firm or loss adjusting firm would be compelled to disclose this to the board of directors of the company where is CEO so that if there are issues of outstanding premiums arising from such broking firm, the board would be able to knew the source of their problem.

He said this is a major source of unethical practice and should therefore not be encouraged.

Other observed unethical practices, he said, include inadequate rating, withholding of premium/commission, claims falsification, deliberate creation of information gap between the management and board as well as falsification of returns to the regulator.

Mr. Thomas said, by the time the commission was through with the reform in the industry, all of these would belong to history books.

He said with nine months gone in the year, not up to half of insurance companies operating in the country have submitted their 2008 financial result to the commission. “This is because they find it convenient to pay the paltry fine of N5,000 per day for as long as the result is delayed,” he said.

Under the current reform, he revealed, the fine would be made very stiff. He said it could be as high as N100,00 per day and the deadline for filing the result could be made shorter. He, therefore, advised all operators to sit up so as not to be caught on the wrong side of the law.

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CBN Releases N756bn To Over 3m Farmers To Boost Food Security

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says it has released the sum of N756.51 billion to 3,734,938 small holder farmers, cultivating 4.6 million hectares of land, to boost the Federal Government’s food security initiative.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, made this known while presenting a communiqué from the bank’s recently held, 280th meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
Emefiele said that N120.24 billion of the sum was extended for the 2021 wet season to 627,051 farmers for 847,484 hectares of land, under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
“The sum of N121.57 billion was disbursed to 32,617 beneficiaries.
“For the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), N318.17 billion was released to 679,422 beneficiaries, comprising 572,189 households and 107,233 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs),’’ he said.
Emefiele revealed that the apex bank also expended huge sums in its youth investment scheme, to empower Nigerian youths, and to reduce unemployment by providing to the creative sector and Information Technology.
“Under the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF), the Bank released N3.0 billion to 7,057 beneficiaries, of which 4,411 were individuals and 2,646 SMEs.
“Under the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), N3.22 billion was disbursed to 356 5 beneficiaries across movie production, movie distribution, software development, fashion, and IT verticals,’’ he said.
The CBN Governor also revealed that the apex bank had invested close to N1trillion to boost the real sector of the economy, covering 251 real sector projects.
He said that the bank’s intervention also spanned health sector support initiatives and electricity distribution.
“Under the N1.0 trillion Real Sector Facility, the Bank released N923.41 billion to 251 real sector projects, of which 87 were in light manufacturing, 40 in agro-based industry, 32 in services and 11 in mining.
“On the N100 billion, Healthcare Sector Intervention Facility (HSIF), N98.41 billion was disbursed for 103 health care projects, of which, 26 are pharmaceuticals and 77 are in the hospital services.
“Similarly, the sum of N232.54 million was disbursed to five beneficiaries under the CBN Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention (Grant) Scheme (HSRDIS) for the development of testing kits and devices for COVID-19 and Lassa Fever.
“On the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP), N36.04 billion was disbursed to 17 Meter Asset Providers to nine Distribution Companies (DisCos), for the procurement and installation of 657,562 electricity meters,’’ Emefiele said.

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Siat Assures Host Communities Of Fair Deal … Offers 15 Varsity Students Scholarships

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As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility to its host communities, an agro-allied company located in Rivers State, Siat Nigeria Limited, has assured that it would continue to cater for the wellbeing and needs of the indigenes of the communities where it is doing business even as it has offered undergraduate scholarship awards to 15 students from the areas.
The company, which gave the assurance during the presentation of scholarship awards to the students at its corporate headquarters in Ubima Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area recently, said it would continue to promote a harmonious working relationship with its host communities and strive as much as possible to contribute to their growth and development.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr Felix Nwabuko, who gave the indication in an address during the company’s this year’s undergraduate scholarship programme, said the scholarship initiative is just one of the corporate social responsibility lined up by the company for its host communities.
According to him, the university scholarship award is intended to assist and encourage students of the host communities in the areas of Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Accounting and Engineering.
While congratulating the beneficiary students on their success during the scholarship examination, Nwabuko noted that they are by this award, ambassadors of not only their communities but Siat Nigeria Limited, and urged them to exhibit good behaviour throughout the duration of their university education.
“It is our fervent belief that the beneficiaries will avail themselves of this singular opportunity and study hard to become good citizens of not only the communities they came from but the society at large”, he said.
Nwabuko commended the government at both the state and local levels for providing the enabling environment for the company’s operations as well as the peace the firm has enjoyed from the host communities.
He noted with delight that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and its associated harsh economic effects, Siat Nigeria Limited did not lay off its workers like other companies including banks, stressing that it was because the company took into consideration the excellent relationship and goodwill it has with the host communities.
The beneficiaries of the scholarship were drawn from the company’s Ubima and Elele estates.
The first round of the scholarship programme took place in 2016 and the beneficiaries, according to the company, have all graduated.

By: Donatus Ebi

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AKK Project Will Enhance Gas Utilisation For Industrialisation – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says successful completion of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano, AKK Project in 2023 would enhance domestic gas utilisation as the mainstay for national industrialisation.
Buhari stated this at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Gas Sector Stakeholders (AKK) Forum organised by the Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria (GACN) yesterday in Kano.
He was represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.
“Today’s event reinforces our commitments to realizing the inherent potentials of gas usage as a national catalyst for achieving economic diversification from crude oil and as transition period to the renewable energy,” he said.
He revealed that the project would also increase government revenue and create more jobs opportunities for the unemployed Nigerians.
The President said that many companies had been shut down due to power supply problem across the country.
He explained that it would take two to three years to reactivate those industries to their optimal performance.
Buhari also said that the Federal Government has reduced the price of gas from 2 dollars 50 cents to 2 dollars 18 Cents.
“Let me use this medium to announce that following successful negotiations between Federal Government of Nigeria and organized unions, the price of gas has been reduced from $2.50 Cents to $2.18 Cents, with immediate effects,” he said.
He said that all the relevant stakeholders had been communicated on the issue.
Also speaking, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, said that the AKK project had been on the drawing board for the past 30 years.
Kyari said when completed, it would provide enough gas for both domestic and export purposes.
“Nigeria has huge gas resources, gas means prosperity and delivering gas is an opportunity creation,” he said.
He pointed out that the project would revive about 232 industries along AKK corridor.
In his remarks, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado-Bayero, commended the Federal Government for the project, which he said, would also assist to enhance socioeconomic activities in the state.

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