By Sola Alabadan
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has promised to keep developing and implementing innovative polices to foster safety and fair returns on pension fund investment, as the pension industry and financial system evolves.
Speaking at the Workshop organised by PenCom for journalists in Lagos on Thursday, the Director-GeneralMrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar .
PenCom stated that it is committed to ensuring the safety of pension funds, noting that adequate structures have been established in this regard.
The Commission said it is taking strategic steps to encourage more participation of workers from the informal sector of the economy in the Micro Pension Plan in order to expand the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
The DG who was represented at the Workshop by the Head of Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Abdulqadir Dahiru, said the theme of this year’s workshop, “Increasing Informal Sector Participation in the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS): The case for Micro Pension Plan”, aligns with the Commission’s objective of expanding coverage of the CPS.
She stated that the objective is to bring in to the CPS, Nigerians working in the Informal Sector and those who are Self Employed through the Micro Pension Plan (MPP), noting that “it is of utmost importance to educate the media on the MPP and enlist your support to make the Plan popular amongst informal sector workers and the self-employed.
She said the Commission’s directive to increase the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) from N1 billion to N5 billion. was to ramp up the capacity of the Pension Fund Administrators to manage the increasing number of registered contributors, and the value of pension fund assets.
PenCom DG informed the journalists that as at June 30, 2022, the number of registered contributors and the pension fund assets stood at 9,795,957million and N14.27 Trillion, respectively.
She said it is expected that the recapitalization exercise will bring about increased effectiveness and efficiency as well as improved service delivery in the industry.
In his presentation at the Workshop entitled “What you Need to Know About the Investment of the Micro Pension Fund (Fund VI,” Mr. Ibrahim Kangiwa, Head, Investment Supervision Department National Pension Commission listed the Benefits of Micro Pension Fund Investments to the economy and to the contributor, stating that the Commission is committed to ensuring the safety of Micro Pension Fund and the investments.
According to him, the Commission is committed to ensuring the safety of pension funds and structures have been established in this regard.
“As the pension industry and financial system evolves, the Commission would also continue to develop and implement innovative policies to foster safety and fair returns on pension fund investment,” he added.
The Head of Micro Pensions Department, Mr. Dauda Ahmed, in his presentation entitled “The Micro Pension Plan: Bringing Financial Security at Old Age to the Doorsteps of the Informal Sector,” listed the benefits of Micro Pension Plan.
He said Micro Pension Plan will improve the standard of living of the elderly as it provides a regular stream of benefits at old age; provide access to other incentives and secures financial autonomy and independence of retirees amongst other benefits.
Speaking on the topic “The Administration of Retirement Benefits Under Micro Pension Plan,” the Head of Benefits & Insurance Department, Mr. Obiora Ibeziako, gave insights into the benefits administration of MPP which he said is divided into two – Contingent Withdrawal and Retirement Benefits Withdrawal.
According to him, Withdrawals/accessing benefits shall be two types reflecting the flexibility incorporated in the treatment of the contributions.
Over 40 journalists attended the workshop.
NAICOM Counsels Edo Government, Residents, To Embrace Insurance
Elumelu Charges Insurance Brokers To Lead War Against Unethical Practices
By Sola Alabadan
The Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, has charged the Nigerian Council Of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) to lead the war against unethical practices, such as: premium rate cutting, delayed premium remittance, unremitted premium, overloading of premium, returned premium, fake documents, that have been the bane of the nation’s insurance industry for years.
Elumelu, who gave this charge during the 60th Anniversary celebration of NCRIB in Lagos on Thursday, listed other unethical practices to include:
fraudulent claims, collusion to defraud, mis-selling, unhealthy competition, misrepresentations, manipulation of policy conditions, self-enrichment methods disguised as marketing expenses, among others.
While the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) continues to play its role as the industry regulator, he said the NCRIB, as a body, must ensure that appropriate sanctions are imposed on any of its members found engaging in unethical practices.
He also advocated for the recapitalisation of the brokerage industry in our country, saying the minimum capital base should be increased to N50 million, noting that N5 million is not enough as capital base.
In the area of Governance, he said the industry need to enforce strict adherence to corporate governance by all NCRIB members, while weeding out non-registered and non-compliant members from its fold.
He said the non-registered brokers are the ones tarnishing the image of the broking profession and the industry at large.
Elumelu called on the insurance operators to create more awareness about insurance and showcase the value of insurance to the public, promoting participation, most especially in the retail space.
Insurance brokers, he added, need to participate fully in this drive to bridge the insurance knowledge gap if the industry is desirous to make insurance attractive to Nigerians.
As the insurance brokers have been recognised as corporate insurance specialists, he stated that “It is high time the brokers community began to shift focus to retail because this is where the future of insurance lies in Nigeria. Brokers have the capacity to lead in this area.”
While pointing out that innovation and disruptive practices cannot occur if the operators do not broaden their thinking, he said “Trying to make profits from existing lines is not going to deepen insurance penetration, rather we must look at the blue ocean opportunities.
“This is something I task the management of the insurance companies to constantly think of in product development and deployment.”
To remain relevant in the modern business arena, the insurance broker community and, by extension, the entire Nigerian insurance industry, must embrace technology fully, he further advised.
Besides, he said there is urgent need to develop the next generation of talent to serve the Nigerian insurance industry.
He emphasised that the broker community should rally and become the hub for the education and training of our youths to get qualified talent for the next phase of the industry, adding that “We need to raise the profile of our insurance professionals, make it attractive for the younger generation.”
Leadway Graduate Trainee Programme Graduates 30 Young Professionals
Leadway Assurance Company Limited has graduated 34 young professionals following their successful completion of the company’s 2022 Graduate Trainee Programme, and the successful trainees have been inducted into its diverse business portfolios.
The six-month programme equips young graduates with the relevant skill set required to thrive in the dynamic and ever-evolving workforce.
The training modules dealt with problem-solving, networking, technical and soft skills, workplace culture, digital proficiency for self-development, and professional capabilities preparing the trainees to serve in different departments across the diverse verticals of the business.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony recently, Managing Director of Leadway Assurance, Tunde Hassan-Odukale, stated that the Graduate Trainee programme aligns with the organisation’s corporate twin mandate of providing career opportunities and upskilling Nigeria’s growing young, vibrant and productive population. The programme also strengthens its workforce with the right talent pool for its ambitious growth objectives.
“Our people are the centre-point of our continued marketplace performance and at the core of the organisation’s value creation. So, it is pertinent that we house the best talents in the industry to drive our objectives within the frames of our values and in alignment with the company’s vision and leadership position in the African insurance marketplace.
The Leadway Graduate Trainee Programme is designed to achieve a sustained pool of the required elite skills and talents by initiating young, promising, dynamic, future-centric minds into a comprehensive upskilling process that tunes them towards actualising the mandate of advancing our esteemed ethos.
“We are optimistic that the skills, innovation, and creativity that this programme unleashes satisfy the expectations of our cultural, strategic and operational requirements. We are confident that the training and onboarding of these young professionals further validates our profile as a youth-oriented and future-forward organisation.
“I would like to congratulate and celebrate the 2022 Leadway Graduate Trainees. Their successful induction is a testament to the tenacity, hard work, and commitment deployed during the six-month rigorous tutelage”, he added.