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12,000 NDDC Projects Abandoned, Says Akpabio

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Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Tuesday night, disclosed that over 12,000 projects awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, have been abandoned across the nine states that make up the region.
Senator Akpabio, who made the revelation while inaugurating the Security Committee for the field forensic auditor of NDDC in Abuja, said Rivers and Delta states have the highest records of abandoned projects in the region.
The former governor of Akwa Ibom State also revealed that NDDC was operating 311 accounts in different banks, before the advent of Treasury Single Account, TSA.
He added that some funds were even forgotten in some banks because of the large numbers of accounts been maintained by the commission during the period.
The minister charged the security committee to be vigilant and ensure adequate security is provided for the 16-member auditors in the course of discharging their duties.
The committee membership is drawn from the military; Department State Services, DSS; Independent Corrupt Practice and other related offences, ICPC; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC and the Police.
Akpabio noted that the scope of the investigation is massive and first of its kind, adding, “I can say this is the first time in the history of this country that this kind of exercise is taking place. it is a very major exercise.
“And I am happy that the armed forces have taken it very serious by sending very senior officers to be on this security committee.
“There was an attempt in 1958 to set up a developmental agency for the Niger Delta region, that did not go down well at the end.
“And various attempts have been made up to 1990-91 when OMPADEC was also inaugurated and came in to be. But the result did not solve the problem of the Niger Delta.
“The agitation that the neglect and the seeming poverty of the region continued because of the environmental hazard and exploitation and all that, are still there.”

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Nigeria launches First Solar-powered Charging Station For Electric Vehicles 

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The federal government has unveiled the first 100 percent solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging station.

The station is a collaborative project of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) and Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto (UDUS).

In February, the first locally assembled electric car was displayed in Abuja.

Speaking at the commissioning on Thursday in Sokoto, Jelani Aliyu, director-general of the NADDC, said the achievement signifies a significant milestone in the agency’s commitment to creating a world class automotive sector in the country.

“What has just been commissioned today is the nation’s first 100% solar powered electric vehicle charging station. 100% renewable energy, 100% clean energy to power 100% electric vehicles. Absolutely zero emissions, zero waste: from energy generation to energy utilization,” Aliyu said.

“This charging station is an important component of our national vehicle electrification programme.

“We are collaborating with three universities: UDUS; the University of Lagos and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.”

He explained that the charging station contains arrays of installed solar panels with 86.4 kilowatts per hour capacity.

They are then coupled to three online-offline hybrid inverters with 5-kilovolt ampere (KVA) each and synchronized to give an output of 15KVA/48watts.

The system’s energy storage is made up of 36 units of deep-cycle gel batteries with an output of 48 volts/1980 amperes.

The NADDC DG said the agency partners with academic institutions to create a platform for advanced research and development.

The collaboration will also involve the study, monitoring and evaluation of the entire system of solar cells, storage units and electric vehicles in various climatic and usage conditions in order to develop even more effective solutions for Nigerian and African applications.

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AIICO Insurance Records N60.7bn Gross Premium

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Olalandu said that the N60.7 billion represented 21.3 per cent growth, when compared to the 2019 financial year figure of N50.1 billion.

He attributed the growth to continuous investment in the agency’s force, increased focus on partnerships and better relationship with corporates.

The spokesman said that the firm recorded an underwriting loss of N36.3 billion in 2020 compared to N7.7 billion in 2019.

He hinged the loss on two main factors — reserving requirements for new policies underwritten in the life business in 2020 and changes in actuarial reserves in the life business for policies written in 2020 and prior years.

“There were significant movements in investment yields which affected the value of liabilities and assets in our life business.

“On the short and long ends of the yield curve, yields declined by about 7.7 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively in 2020.

” The effects of these changes are reflected in the change in life and annuity funds, as well as fair value gains or losses on the income statement.

” In addition, changing client preferences mean that there has been a change in our retail product mix.

“Some of these products require higher reserving requirements which results in an increase in our liabilities, thereby reducing reported underwriting profits, ” he said.

According to him, the underwriting performance in the general business also declined due to increased claims in fire because of the civil unrest across the country and special oil lines.

Olalandu said that the investment income of the insurer grew by 13.1 percent year-on- year to N11.7 billion in 2020 financial year from N10.4 billion in 2019 financial year from increased assets under management.

He said profit before tax from continuing operations declined by 22.6 per cent year-on-year to N4.6 billion in 2020 financial year from N6.0 billion in 2019 financial year.

According to him, the drop was due to the lower-than-expected profits in the company’s Life business as a result of higher-than-expected reserving requirements/low yields.

“However, our General Insurance and Wealth Management businesses increased their contribution to profits,” he said.

Olalandu said that the profit after tax from continuing operations declined by 12.9 per cent year-on-year to N5.0 billion in 2020 from N5.7 billion in 2019 financial year.

He said profit for the year declined by 11.1 per cent year-on-year to N5.2 billion in 2020 financial year from N 5.9 billion in 2019 financial year.

The spokesman said the company’s total asset increased by 52.4 per cent to N 243.1 billion in 2020 financial year from N159.5 billion in 2019 financial year.

According to him, AIICO’s total liability also grew by 59.6 per cent to N 208.4 billion in 2020 financial year from N130.6 billion in 2019 financial year.

He said the firm’s total equity increased by 19.9 per cent to N34.7 billion in 2020 financial year from N28.9 billion in 2019 financial year.

The company’s Managing Director, Babatunde Fajemirokun, was quoted  as saying that the pandemic caused a questionable global marketplace and led to a global economic upheaval.

Fajemirokun explained that the Nigerian economy slipped into its second recession in five years, with the business environment further impacted by incidents of civil unrest.

“Despite these unprecedented macroeconomic disruptions, AIICO grew its total assets by 52.5 per cent in the year under review.

“We delivered sound results having taken decisive early actions to protect our workforce, improve our financial strength, streamline operations and reinforce our distribution strategy.

“Over the past five years, we invested substantially in human capital and technology to significantly elevate our customer experience.

“This resulted in our gross written premiums growing 23.6 per cent year-on-year despite restrictions caused by the pandemic, ” he said.

According to the managing director, the company’s financial position remains strong, inspiring confidence in its ability to assume the risks its customers wish to transfer.

Fajemirokun said the insurer’s investors showed their commitment, as its rights issue announced in September 2020 was oversubscribed by about 26 per cent.

He noted that the capital was deployed judiciously, generating risk-adjusted returns for its shareholders and ensuring that it continues to keep its promises.

(NAN)

 

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NAIC Settles N848m Claims In 2020

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The Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) paid N848 million as insurance claims to its insured farmers in 2020, the company’s Managing Director, Mrs Folashade Joseph, said.

She stated that the corporation paid N856m to its policyholders who suffered losses in 2019.

“NAIC, since its establishment as an agricultural risk management agency of the Federal Government, has continued to deliver on its major mandates of providing succor to farmers and comfort to financial institutions which lend to participants in the primary agricultural production sector.
“To serve its clients who are located across the country, the corporation has very experienced and dedicated staff in every state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, ” she said.
The management of the corporation urged agricultural investors and lending institutions to continue to partner with NAIC, stressing that the organisation is  committed to the food security agenda of the Federal Government and intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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