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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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Senate Confirms Cardoso, 11 Others As Monetary Policy Committee Members 

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The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Olayemi Cardoso as the chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Also confirmed for appointment as members of the MPC yesterday, include, Muhammad Abdullahi, (CBN deputy governor), Bala Bello (CBN deputy governor), Emem Usoro (CBN deputy governor), Philip Ikeazor (CBN deputy governor), Lamido Yuguda, (DG Securities and Exchange Commission) and Jafiya Lydia Shehu, (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance).

Others are Murtala Sabo Sagagi (CBN director) Aloysius  Ordu, Aku Odukemelu, Mustapha Akinwunmi, and Bamidele Amoo.

President Bola Tinubu had on Wednesday named Cardoso as the chairman and 11 others as members of the MPC.

Tinubu in his letter of nomination to the Senate, said his action was in line with the provisions of Section 12 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007.

The President had about a week ago asked the Senate to confirm Cardoso, as the chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee of the apex bank.

CBN MPC will hold its first policy meeting for the year on February 26 and 27.

The Senate had , on Wednesday, screened the nominated members of the CBN Monetary Policy Committee, questioning them on the lingering foreign exchange and food crises.

 

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‘Unemployment Rate Hit 0.8% In 2023 Q3’

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The unemployment rate in Nigeria rose by 0.8percent in the third quarter of 2023.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), this was a significant rise, adding that the unemployment rate rose from the 4.2percent recorded in Q2 2023 to 5.0 percent in Q3 2023.
The NBS, the custodian of official statistics in the country, disclosed this in a report it published last Monday titled “Nigeria Labour Force Survey Q3 2023”.
“The employment-to-population ratio was 75.6 percent in Q3 2023 with a decrease of 1.5 percent compared to a ratio of Q2 2023.
“The combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population (LU2) increased to 17.3percent in Q3 2023 from 15.5percent in Q2 2023.
“About 87.3 percent of workers were self-employed in Q3 2023. The proportion of workers in Wage Employment in Q3 2023 was 12.7 percent.
“The unemployment rate increased significantly in Q3 2023 at 5.0 percent. This is an increase of 0.8 percent from Q2 2023.
“The rate of unemployment among persons with post-secondary education was 7.8 percent in Q3 2023”, the report stated in part.
It added that the unemployment rate for youth between the ages of 15 and 24 years was recorded at 8.6 per cent in Q3 2023 while the informal employment rate in Q3 2023 was 92.3 per cent.
The report added, “The unemployment rate in urban areas was 6.0 percent percentin Q3 2023, a slight increase of 0.1 percent from Q2 2023.
“Time-related underemployment in Q3 2023 was 12.3 percent, showing a slight increase of 0.5 percent from the rate recorded in Q2 2023. This shows an increase of 1.4 percent compared to the rate in Q4 2022.
“4.1percent of the working-age population was in subsistence agriculture in Q3 2023. Informal employment rate in Q3 2023 was 92.3percent, while Q2 2023 was 92.7percent.
“Percentage of youth Not in Employment, Education or Training was 13.7percent in Q3 2023”.
Recall that Nigeria’s inflation rate last Thursday climbed to 29.90 per cent in January 2024 from 28.92 per cent recorded in the previous month.
The 0.98 percent increase shows that the inflation rate in the country is yet to slow down.
The NBS revealed this in its ‘Consumer Price Index’
The development adds more pressure on the Central Bank’s monetary policy committee to sharply raise interest rates at a February  26-27 meeting its first in seven months.

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Merchant Navy Lauds NIWA Over Staff Welfare

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The Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNO/WTSSA) has expressed optimism that the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Mr. Bola Oyebamiji, will prioritise workers welfare for optimal performance of the agency.
Jibril Darda’u, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, NIWA, in a statement over the weekend, disclosed that the seafarers’ union’s remarks are one of the highlights of the meeting between the Trade Union Congress (TUC) affiliate group and management of the agency.
The statement quoted the Chairman of the NMNO/WTSSA, Comrade Suleiman Danjuma, as commending the Managing Director of NIWA for the good initiative of the kind of interaction that brings the staff closer to the management.
“This will definitely boost the morale of the staff and pledge their loyalty and confidence in the Managing Director’s leadership style”, Danjuma stated.
Earlier, the Managing Director of NIWA promised to build on the progress already achieved at the Lokoja River Port, Kogi State.
The MD disclosed this when he went on a familiarisation tour of NIWA’s facilities in Lokoja.
According to the MD, the importance of Lokoja River Port being in the confluence State is to boost the economic viability of the State and Nigeria at large.
“We are here for facility tour to see for ourselves what is on ground at Jamata Port, Lokoja. It is important we come here to assess the facilities to see, at least, how we can move the facilities forward”, he stated.
Recall that in continuation of his familiarisation tour, the Managing Director’s visited the NIWA Lokoja Area office to inspect the Dockyard facilities.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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