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Ngige Inaugurates Panel To Probe Suspended NSITF MD

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Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, has inaugurated a presidential joint board and audit panel to probe the alleged mismanagement of N3.4 billion by Adebayo Somefun, suspended managing director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

The committee is chaired by Ibrahim Khaleel, president of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and chairman of the audit committee of the NSITF board.

Ngige, who was represented by William Alo, permanent secretary of the federal ministry of labour and employment, said the eight-member committee has three weeks to submit its report.

On July 1, Ngige suspended the management of NSITF but Somefun rejected the suspension.

Somefun was accused of “misappropriation and other gross misconduct”.

The minister alleged that while the sum of N2.3 billion was already paid for “non-existent staff training”, N1.1 billion is being processed for the same purpose.

During the inauguration, the minister explained that NSITF was established to address the socio-economic needs of workers by providing compensation to insured employees who suffer from occupational diseases, injuries or disability from accident or death in the course of employment.

He said in order to discharge this duty, the NSITF act provides that employers of labour should make financial contributions to the fund of the NSIT.

Ngige, however, noted that it had become worrisome that there are issues emanating from the management of funds entrusted to the agency, especially when done contrary to due laws and regulations.

“The NSITF is a government-owned human centered entity which was established to address the socio-economic needs in the world of work by providing compensation to insured employees who suffer from occupational diseases, sustain injuries or disability from accident or even death during or in the course of employment,” he said.

“In order to discharge this very noble mandate, the NSITF enabling act provides that employers of labour should make financial contributions to the fund of the NSITF. This includes employers in both the private and public sectors of the formal economy and the NSITF is the statutory custodian of these funds.

“It becomes very worrisome when there are issues surrounding and emanating from the management of these funds entrusted to NSITF, especially when seemingly done in transgression of extant rules, regulations and laws guiding due processes for the management of funds and general conduct/ethics in the public service.

“This becomes even more worrisome when preliminary investigations yield alarming results.”

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insurance, Pension Operators Charged On Sustained Awareness Campaign

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By Sola Alabadan

Nigerian insurance and pension operators have been urged to give favourable consideration to deliberate and sustained insurance and pension awareness, as part of efforts to make the Federal Government’s financial inclusion initiative a success.
This was part of the communique issued at the 2021 National Conference of The National Association Of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) in Lagos recently. The Theme of the conference was “COVID-19 Impact On Financial Inclusion: Opportunities For Insurance & Pension Sectors”.
Participants at the conference also advised the Insurance and pension sectors to take advantage of Covid-19 pandemic to grow both sectors.

The two sectors were equally charged to work more on their products and services, by simplifying their products and improving service delivery.

Besides, the operators were urged to ensure that the Insurance products and pension plans are personalized towards meeting individual customer’s needs, while special products be developed to meet the needs of those in the Micro insurance and Micro pension segments.

Pension Administrators were counselled to offer Incentives like basic levels of healthcare, to encourage clients to remain with their pension provider after their retirement.

Insurance and Pension sectors should embrace digitalization, constant and continued training of workforce to drive growth.

The current Pension Law should be reviewed to offer clients more flexible options that will give them more control over their future while also catering to the profit motive of operators, the conference noted.

Pension and insurance industries must remain committed to the inclusive growth of the Nigeria economy.

Considering the peculiarities of Nigerians and Nigerian situation, the Insurance and Pension sectors were enjoined to embrace self recapitalisation and regulations of the two sectors.

The conference emphasised the need to review rates and revisit some of the policy conditions and exclusions earlier permissible for some insurance.

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Insurance

Rotimi Edu Now President Of NCRIB

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By Sola Alabadan

Barr. Oluwarotimi Edu has been sworn in as the 21st president of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) to, as his investiture held in Lagos today.

Edu, who was until now the deputy president of the council, had worked assiduously with the immediate past president. Dr. Bola Onigbogi, to deepen insurance awareness through improved education and sensitisation exercise across the country.

He was born more than 60 years ago into the families of Late Alhaji Salaudeen Edu in Lagos.
Edu began his early education at the Surulere Baptist Primary School, in Lagos, before proceeding to the Lagos Clerical Training College which was a famous school for the training of would-be white collar jobbers at the time.
He later switched to Premier College, Yaba, for his West Africa School Certificate, which he bagged with flying colours.

The quest for higher scholarship propped him to secure admission with Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo Lagos for his National Diploma and Higher National Diploma Certificates in Insurance.

He secured his first job with Security Insurance Company under the tutelage of Late Mr. Idowu Silva, where he horned his skills in Insurance Marketing.

Though, he had a flourishing career in the Insurance Industry, starting his career at the defunct Mulumba Assurance Co. Ltd, where he was employed as a Senior Manager, Oluwarotimi briefly left for banking and later returned to the famous Industrial and General Insurance Ltd where he exited as Deputy Director (Marketing).
He later became the acting Managing Director of International Health Management Services before establishing his own Brokerage firm, Quicklink Insurance Brokers Limited.

His foray into NCRIB was when he was appointed as the Auditor of the council under its first female President, Barr Mrs. Laide Osijo.

From that point, there had been no turning back for Edu, as he rose through the ladder to become Hon Treasurer, Vice President, Deputy President and today ascending the number One position as 21st President.

His thirst for knowledge make him apply for a degree in Accounting, and crossing in his 2nd year to Law at the University of Lagos, where he bagged his Bachelors of Laws degree, and was called into the Nigerian Bar after completing his Law School.

He went back for his Master’s Degree in Law specialising in Secured Credit, Family Law and he later became a Notary Public of the Federal Republic of Nigeria thereafter. These battery of certificates and knowledge he has brought to bear on his profession and the NCRIB in several capacities.

A Chartered Insurance practitioner from the Chartered Insurance Institute London, Barr Oluwarotimi Edu is a proud product of the famous National Institute of Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos. He was a one-time speaker at NIPSS (SEC 41) and a strong advocate of agricultural insurance development in Nigeria.

As one of the Past Presidents of the famous Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Barr Oluwarotimi Edu left an impressionable footprints on the Club. Aside from enhancing its financial vibrancy, Barr Edu is remembered for re-energising the Club through aggressive membership drive and drawing more attention of the powers that be to the Club, making it a primus interperes amongst its peers nationally.

Similarly, he is a Chartered member of the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators(CIArB); Current Chairman of the Insurance Brokers Forum of the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA); Member of the 9th Governing Council of Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH); Past President of the Lagos State Polytechnic Alumni Association); Member, Institute of Directors (MIoD); Principal Partner of Rotimi Edu & Co. a firm of Estate Managers, among others.

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Business

Onanuga Advocates Functioning Social Security System In Nigeria

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By Sola Alabadan

In view of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis, the former Director General of Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) said there is the critical need for a functioning social security system to allow all Nigerians to achieve an adequate standard of living.

Mrs. Onanuga made this call while delivering the theme paper “Covid-19 Impact On Financial Inclusion: Opportunities For Insurance & Pension Sectors” at the sixth edition of the national conference of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondent (NAIPCO) held recently in Lagos.

She said “The World Bank estimates that the covid-19 crisis will result in 10.9 million Nigerians falling into poverty by January 2022. If we have learned anything, the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis have highlighted the critical need for a functioning social security system to allow all Nigerians to achieve an adequate standard of living.

However, she lamented that “unfortunately, the social security system in Nigeria is next to zero; so you need to plan for yourself so that if anything happens, you need to be able to stand.”

Mrs. Onanuga stressed  that in this era of COVID-19 pandemic, insurance and pension is what Nigerians need to lean on for a hopeful future.

“If you really want to remain in business, you must take insurance, in the event of sudden occurrence like the pandemic, insurance will help you to stand back on your feet; in the event of you finding that because of the pandemic a breadwinner of a family dies, there must be a buffer to ensure that the family is not affected.

“Therefore, more than ever before, you find out that actually there is need for both insurance and pension products to ensure that we continue to live and meet our need of sustainable living, healthy living, wealthy living and of course, continuity in business. That is why it is important for all of us to identify that we have these needs for growth and continuity by taking up both insurance and pension products,” Mrs. Onanuga said.

In her goodwill message, Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, who was represented at the event by the Commission’s Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Peter Aghahowa, emphasised the need for Nigerians to embrace contributory pension, as a social security safety net.

He said the issue of gathering retirees physically in various locations across the country for verification is now a thing of the past with the online verification and enrolment portal recently launched by the Commission.

According to him, “Before now, we would congregate several retirees in different centres of the country to do the enrolment for the Treasury Funded retirees, and now that can be done online.

“I’m happy to announce that over 3,000 people have been enrolled through our online portal out of 11,000 expected to retire this year.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Olorundare Thomas, called on Nigerians in all walks of life to embrace insurance as risk-mitigating mechanism.

The Commissioner for Insurance was represented by Assistant Director, Market Development, Adeyemi Abubakar.

He congratulated the NAIPCO members, for their consistency in organising the conference, as a platform to ensure that they reach out to the public with their reportage on the insurance sector to ensure the growth of the insurance business in Nigeria.

The Commissioner for Insurance reminded NAIPCO of their role as purveyors of information, awareness creation and catalysts of economic growth, just as he solicited the continued cooperation of the Association for the growth of the industry.

He said for the Nigerian insurance market to record significant growth and contributes adequately to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), all hands must be on deck, noting that the media has a critical role to play in this especially in sensitising the public on the benefits of insurance.

Thomas believes that deepening insurance penetration can only be possible through a deliberate and sustained insurance awareness which, he said, will also lead to the realization of the Federal Government’s financial inclusion initiative.

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