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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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EndSARS: Insurers Pay N4bn Claims, To Pay More

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By Sola Alabadan

The dust generated by the EndSARS protest in October 2020 is yet to settle, as insurance companies in the country have already paid N4 billion as claims to over 2000 policyholders that were affected during the protest and more claims will still be paid.

The chairman of Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA),  Mr. Ganiyu Musa, made this known at an interactive session with journalists on Thursday in Lagos.

He also informed that the insurance operators are still collating claims which arose from the incident, assuring that all genuine claims will be paid as promptly as possible.

Musa said: “the number of insured businesses that were affected at the last count was about 2000 insured losses and the industry have settled over N4 billion claims in respect of the EndSARS protest. Once they are documented and completed, we have the commitment of our members that claims will be paid timely.

The association is on top of developments on the aftermath of the protests and will continue to encourage members to pay all genuine claims in line with the extant policies.”

On the Consolidated Insurance Bill 2020, he said: “NIA welcomes the review as it will align the Act with global best practice and promote the business of insurance in the country.”

According to him, the current insurance legislation is outdated and has made it impossible to do things that need to be done.

On the African Insurance Organisation Conference, AIO 2021, Musa said: “Originally planned for year 2020, COVID-19 was a force majeure due to health protocols and travel restrictions. With availability of vaccines, reduction in infection rate, coupled with relaxation of travel restrictions and other protocols around the coronavirus disease, the AIO Executive Committee and the NIA have agreed to hold it from September 4 – 8, 2021. A hybrid conference has been agreed and we solicit your support in hosting the best conference ever.”

Speaking on the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database /Nigerian Insurance Industry Portal (NIID/NIIP), the NIA boss stated that: “The Nigerian Insurance Industry Database was established to reduce soft market practices and eliminate fake insurance policies. The Association has taken a step further by creating the Nigerian Insurance Industry platform to enable vehicle owners purchase their third-party motor vehicle insurance cover from the comfort of their homes and telephones. So far, we are seeing a lot of traction on the platform across the states of the Federation and we are hopeful that other states will key into the project before the end of the year.”

On the Marine Module, he said: “As you are probably aware, the Central Bank of Nigeria has since integrated the NIA Marine Module into the National Trade portal and all insurance certificates required for import and export are generated from the portal.  This, no doubt, signals the end of fake Marine Insurance Certificates at the Ports.”

Musa further disclosed that he became the Chairman of the Council of Bureaux of the Ecowas Brown Card Scheme at its 37th Ordinary Session in January this year. “A major issue for the Bureau is domestication of Compulsory Brown Card in the country. We are hopeful that when all the fine details have been sorted, it will be implemented in Nigeria,” he said.

On the new NIA House Project, he said; “Construction of a befitting Secretariat for the association has reached an advanced stage and we are hopeful that the building will be completed at the end of the second quarter so that we can take full possession of the property and relocate our secretariat staff before the end of the year. Of course, we have had some delay in meeting delivery timelines due mainly to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the regulatory restrictions on number of workers on site at any point in time.”

On the initiatives on compulsory insurance, he said: “We have commenced discussions with Lagos State Building Control Agency, as part of engagements on the implementation of Lagos State Building law. We are also working closely with the state vehicle Inspection service on enforcement of Third Party Motor Insurance in the state. We are also engaging Kaduna, Kogi and Ogun States, and remain hopeful that other states will see value in the platform and embrace it. Out of the estimated 13 million vehicles in Nigeria only about 2,939,767 Third Party Motor policies are in force as at Apr 26, 2021.”

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Brokers Charge FG To Declare State Of Emergency On Insecurity

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The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), has lamented the spate of killings, kidnapping and other forms of violent attacks in the country, saying the development is not only tarnishing the country’s image but also scaring investors away from the country.

The President of the Council, Dr. Bola Onigbogi who said this at media parley in Lagos, appealled to the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency on terrorism and killings, especially in the Northern part of Nigeria.

Onigbogi noted that if nothing is done as soon as possible to address this menace, it will deter foreign investors from investing in the Nigerian economy.

She said: “to say that the rate of killings and kidnapping in Nigeria is endemic is to state the obvious. The recent rate of attacks on people in most part of the nation is so disheartening.

“It is worrisome seeing how Nigerians are being massacred in their own fatherland unabated. It is difficult to read the mindset of these dare devil hoodlums, who have decided to unleash terror on unsuspecting and innocent Nigerians.

“Our heartfelt sympathy goes to the government and the people of affected States, especially, the immediate families of the victims. However, I like to join several other Nigerians to appeal to the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency on terrorism and killings, especially in the Northern part of Nigeria.

“We appeal to Mr. President to instruct all the service chiefs to take responsibilities for the killings and kidnappings that has continued to tarnish the image of the country. It is important to note that with the spate of killings and kidnapping in Nigeria, if nothing is done as soon as possible, it will deter investors from investing in Nigeria economy”.

Onigbogi, who also spoke on building collapses in the country, called on the government to take decisive measures to address this issues.
“It is essential for government to facilitate meetings of all stakeholders in order to reach a compromise on methods to adopt in stemming the tide. Kindly permit me to state at this juncture that the enforcement of Section 64 and Section 65 of Insurance Act 2003 should be prioritized”, she expressed.

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Photo News: NAICOM Partners Fire Service To Enforce Compulsory Public Building Insurance

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The National Insurance Commission and the Federal Fire Service met in Abuja and resolved to commence the enforcement of compulsory public building liability insurance in earnest across the country.

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