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Court Stops INEC From Ending Voter Registration On June 30

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The federal high court in Abuja has stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from ending continuous voter registration (CVR) on June 30.

The electoral umpire had fixed June 30 as the deadline for the suspension of CVR across the country ahead of the 2023 general election.

To push for an extension, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 185 Nigerians had filed a lawsuit against INEC.

SERAP had said the deadline should be pushed forward in the same manner INEC extended the deadline for the conduct of primaries by political parties.

In the suit FHC/L/CS/1034/2022 filed at the federal high court, Lagos, and transferred to Abuja, SERAP had asked the court for “an order restraining INEC, its agents, privies, assigns, or any other person(s) claiming through it from discontinuing the continuous voters’ registration exercise from the 30th June 2022 or any other date pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice”.

SERAP asked the court to determine “whether the failure of INEC to extend the deadline for voter registration is not a violation of Nigerian Constitution, 1999 [as amended], the Electoral Act, and international standards”.

It also asked for “a declaration that the failure of INEC to extend the deadline for voter registration is a violation of eligible Nigerians’ rights to participate freely in their own government, equality and equal protection.”

SERAP is also seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to extend voter registration by a minimum of three months and take effective measures to ensure that eligible Nigerians are able to register to exercise their right to vote in the 2023 general elections”.

Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP deputy director, in a statement on Monday, said Mobolaji Olajuwon, the presiding judge, granted an order of interim injunction following the hearing of an argument on an ex parte motion.

The suit was adjourned to June 29, 2022, for the hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

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Business

Plan To Enforce Compulsory Public Building Insurance Receives Boost

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By Sola Alabadan

NAICOM and the Lagos State Fire Service held a strategic meeting on Wednesday in Abuja to improve collaboration and partnership in the ongoing effort to strengthen the enforcement of Public Building Insurance in Lagos State.
Section 64 of the Insurance Act 2003 makes it mandatory for individuals, governments and corporate organisations that undertake the construction of any building above two floors to procure a builder’s liability insurance policy (building under construction) from any of the NAICOM’ licensed insurance companies.
Similarly, Section 65 of the Insurance Act also makes it compulsory for all public buildings in the country to be insured. This is to protect innocent victims in the events of accidents and other disasters that may occur while they are within such premises.
As part of efforts to domesticate the federal government’s law on compulsory insurances of public buildings and buildings under construction, the Lagos State government have been striving to forge strategic partnerships with relevant insurance bodies in the country.
Recalled that Lagos State Safety Commission and the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) were working on the digitalisation of the Compulsory insurance for the people of Lagos State for accessibility and affordability.
The compulsory insurance on public buildings known as the Owners Occupiers Liability would cover different entities of public places or public buildings, which included event centres, cinemas, schools, hospitals, worship centres, restaurants and bakeries.

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Business

Igbiti Lists Achievements As CIIN President

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By Sola Alabadan

The outgoing President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Mr. Edwin Igbiti has listed some of his achievements as the 51st President of the institute to include digital reinforcement of institute’s operations, insurance awareness for all and infrastructural development, among others.
He spoke at the Valedictory Service organised in his honour by the CIIN on Wednesday in Lagos.
On the digital reinforcement of the institute’s operations, he explained that this includes the completion of the e-library project, commencement of ẹ-examinations, as well as active presence and use of all available social media platforms.
Speaking on insurance awareness for all, he said the CIIN Quiz for Secondary Schools have been positively upscale to the limelight, while Insurance textbooks were donated to schools, just as the book on Broking and Loss Adjusting were launched.
On infrastructural and personal development, Igbiti stated that the CIIN Secretariat was renovated to acceptable standards, necessary approvals and clearance were got from the Lagos State Government to resume the construction of the Victoria Island Project, while conferences were held to train professionals.

He emphasised that the institute, under his tenure, was able to upscale its membership portal; “the Insuresuite where we launched e-membership Card. Also, the activities of the Institute have been digitalised to encourage hybrid working and enhancement of its service delivery. These accomplishments have tremendously ensured members’ satisfaction as transactions have greatly improved,”

He further stated that the central of the institute’s activities was targeted at boosting insurance awareness among the populace, pointing out that “the Institute judiciously utilised all its platforms, social and educational to create insurance awareness, as well as its many benefits as a profession and as a service.”

‘The ‘Nite of Talents’ objective was to promote insurance awareness, intellectual prowess and gender equality among the younger generation. The second and third editions of the event, to the Glory of God were great successes as vibrant contestants from various insurance companies competed and the best woman and man; Mrs. Faidat Aderonke Coker from Linkage Assurance Plc and Mr. Akorede Olaoluwa Johnson from Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc won the two editions respectively and were made the Institute’s Ambassadors for years Year 2023/2024 and 2024/2025 respectively. I strongly urge stakeholders of the industry to passionately support this programme and encourage the vibrant insurers to continue to participate. The programme indeed showcased the intellectual capabilities of the next generation of insurance practitioners in the industry.

Infrastructural development is not limited to building, human infrastructure is the bedrock of the Secretariat as the insurance foremost Institute is a membership-based organisation.
It is pertinent to state that traditional institutions have a critical role to play in insurance penetration, especially at the grassroots level. Therefore, it is vital to solicit their support and participation in the Institute’s programmes and activities.

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NAICOM Launches Portal To Ease Complaints Resolution, Protect Policyholders

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By Sola Alabadan

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has launched the NAICOM Complaint Management Portal as part of efforts to effectively address complaints, ensure swift resolution to all Insurance related issues and ensure adequate protection of policyholders.

This portal: complaints.naicom.gov.ng, is in line with the powers of the Commission under section 8(a) of the NAICOM Act 1997.

The portal offers a streamlined and user-friendly platform for addressing all Insurance related complaints.

Consequently, the commission has urged the public to effectively utilise the platform to reach out to the commission on all insurance related complaints.

Recalled that NAICOM had earlier established the Complaint Bureau Unit to which complaints against insurer, reinsurer, insurance brokers or loss adjuster may be submitted by members of public.

The activities of the Bureau are categorised into three phases; Claims management framework; Complaints handling management processes and procedures; and Complaints management operations.

The Bureau is responsible for the implementation and institutionalisation provisions of all primary and secondary legislation that are developed to provide for coordinated steps, policies and procedures for the management of insurance claims by the insurance institutions.

The enabling legal frameworks are: Primary legislations- NAICOM Act, Insurance Act, Third Party Motor Vehicle Act: Subsidiary legislations – Market Conduct and Business Guideline 2015, and Circulars.

Statutory Consumer Protections

Section 6 of NAICOM Act, 1997 bestows on the Commission the responsibility for effective administration, supervision, regulation and control of insurance business in Nigeria.

Section 7 places responsibility on the Commission to ensure adequate protection of strategic Government assets and properties.

Section 8 empowers the Commission to establish a Bureau to which complaints against any member of the insurance institution may be submitted by members of the public.

Section 17(1)(C) establishes a ‘Security and Insurance Development Fund’ to assist in the development of the insurance industry in Nigeria.

Section 78 of the Insurance Act 2003 provides for the utilization of the fund to: Payment of admitted claims which could not be paid due to insolvency or cancellation of the company; To compensate innocent third party disabled or killed by uninsured or unidentified vehicles.

Section 70 of the NAICOM Act stipulates that where a claim is made in writing, the insurer shall where it accepts liability settle the claim not later than 90 days after issuance of discharge voucher and where remained unpaid, the Commission has the power to pay from the company’s statutory deposit.

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