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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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Construction, Real Estate Sectors Contribute N20trn To GDP – NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said economic activities in the construction and real estate sectors contributed N20trllion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first three quarters of 2022.
The NBS report also showed that construction services earned N12.9trllion, while real estate contributed N7trllion to the GDP.
It further revealed that the construction sub sector contributed 9.5 per cent to nominal GDP in the third quarter of 2022, which is higher than the 9.26 per cent it contributed a year earlier and higher than the 7.95 per cent contributed in the second quarter of 2022, and also grew by 18.92 per cent in nominal terms (year-on-year) in the 2022 third quarter.
However, the sector dropped 28.75 per cent points, as compared to the rate of 47.67 per cent it recorded in the same quarter of 2021.
According to the national statistics body, real estate services in nominal terms grew by 9.13 per cent, higher by 0.50 per cent points than the growth rate reported for the same period in 2021, and lower by 3.68 per cent points compared to the preceding Quarter.
On a Quarter-on-Quarter, the sector growth rate was 16.38 per cent. The contribution to nominal GDP in Q3, 2022 stood at 4.96 per cent, relative to 5.27 per cent recorded in the third quarter of 2021 and higher than the 4.95 per cent accounted for in the second quarter of 2022.
The NBS calculates the sector’s contribution by adding up gross outputs such as a sum of fees, the value of work done, commissions receivable for the services rendered and other incomes.
It also considers intermediate consumptions such as details of the cost structure, including transportation fees, operational expenditure, minor repairs and maintenance etc.
“From the foregoing, it is clear that the contributed amount had revealed what the private sector could achieve in the nation’s GDP.
“When we talk about real estate, it is driven by private investors. This implies that for any economy to thrive, the private sector must be given a platform and a level playing ground for them to perform.
“It will be of note also that the real estate industry does not require an incubation period. Anytime you start building a house, at least 25 persons will get a job. So, if the government wants to support the economy of the country, more opportunities should be given to the private sector to thrive”, the report stated.

By: Corlins Walter

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Expert Urges Domestic Airlines To Apply As Flag Carriers 

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Sequel to disagreement between the Federal Government and domestic airline operators over the Nigerian Carrier, which is a subject of litigation, a stakeholder in the aviation industry and Chief Executive Officer, Centurion Security Limited, Capt John Ojikutu, (rtd.) has urged domestic airlines to seek government approval to designate one or two of them as flag carriers instead of going to court over the Nigeria Air deal.
He said he had reservations about the lawsuit filed by the Airline Operators of Nigeria against the Federal Government and its foreign technical partners, and majority shareholders, saying there are so many things wrong with the FGN-ET deal.
“What I believe that the private airlines can do instead of wasting their time is to seek government approval to designate one or two of them as flag carriers on at least five Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement routes.
“As far as I am concerned, the airline will die the same way defunct Virgin Nigeria died, and that is my displeasure over that ET partnership.
“So, it is not something that will be forced on the next administration. It is not a government policy that we must have a partnership with ET. So, I am sure the next government will not succumb to that.
“What they have now is a government airline, not a national carrier. Government just called one or two persons. In SAHCOL, two people there have 78 per cent shares, and one person in MRS, who is a foreigner, has 60 per cent. So, invariably, it is the government and one or two people as far as I am concerned”, he stated.

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FAAN Boss Orders Allocation Of PH Airline Building To Airlines

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Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, has urged the Port Harcourt International Airport Manager/Regional General Manager, South-South/South East, Mr Felix Akinbinu, to ensure that airlines are immediately allocated the new airline building without delay.
He noted that the new airline building project is one of the important projects that have been executed at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, and would want the immediate use of the building.
The Managing Director, who gave the directive during the commissioning of the airline building, described the Port Harcourt airport as one of the busiest in Nigeria.
Represented by the Director, Airport Operations, Capt. Mukhtar Muye, Akinbinu noted that there are about 27 airports in the country, and described the airline building as a good edifice.
“This project is very important to us, and I would urge the Regional Manager to ensure that airlines are immediately allocated the building without delay.
“We are very happy to commission this airline building to decongest the terminal building they currently occupy. We know that this is a good edifice that will attract other airlines, includi international airlines, to Port Harcourt Airport”, he said.
Earlier in his address, Akinbinu said the commissioning of the building will go a long way in the provision of office space for airlines and other stakeholders in the airport.
“This building will also help to decongest the domestic terminal building of people who troop in and out to purchase tickets, do sundry enquiries, thereby ensuring effective access control into the terminal building.
“The building consists of eight suites, which are suitable for multipurpose, including banking halls and offices, a large packing space and a gate house for security.
“One of the buildings has been designated as a Magistrate Court, which will serve the airport in the quick dispensation of service”, he stated.
Highlight of the occasion was presentation of goodwill messages from stakeholders at the airport, such as the host community,  the League of Aviation Correspondents.
Alsos, the new Airport Area Command of the Police, and former Police spokesperson in Rivers State, ACP Ireju Barasua, assured of adequate security at the airport, expressing delight that more projects will come to the airport.
In his vote of thanks, the Head of Corporate Affairs at the airport, Mr Kunle Akinbode, thanked all for making the programme a successful one.
The representative of the Managing Director also cut the tape to declare the building open for business.

By: Corlins Walter

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