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NAICOM Boss Calls for Reform of Insurance Industry

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Mr. Mohammed Kari, the Commissioner for Insurance National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has stressed the need to reform and digitise the country’s insurance industry to boost the economy.

Kari said this at the National Insurance Industry Consultative Council’s 2019 National Conference in Abuja on Monday.

The theme of the conference is: “Disruption, Innovation and Business Growth.”

According to him, this will help strengthen insurance institutions and acceptance of insurance in the country.

“From the regulatory standpoint, the need to exploit the opportunities of digitisation and to tame the cumulative consequence of inflation is critical.

“The devaluation of the naira heightens the necessity for the ongoing reforms of the insurance industry such as, expansion of the insurance distribution channels, financial inclusion.

“Others are corporate governance enforcement, market discipline, professionalism and the recapitalization exercise aimed at strengthening insurance institutions.

“Let me add that these reforms are in furtherance of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s determination to revamp the economy as encapsulated in the Economic Recovery Growth Programme (ERGP).

“This is in order to ensure that the insurance industry becomes a significant contributor to economy of Nigeria,” he said.

Kari said the conference would provide a veritable platform for top government agencies, investors, insurance practitioners and other stakeholders to discuss issues affecting the development of the insurance industry in the country.

“The insurance business model, which essentially entails evaluation and assumption of risk, accumulation of premiums and settlement of claims, has largely remained the same since the first policy was sold in London in 1861.

“The theme of this year’s conference: “Disruption, Innovation and Business Growth” is therefore very pertinent against the backdrop of the need for the Nigerian insurance industry to remain relevant in an era of dynamism where operating in the same way is an assured route to irrelevance, ” he said.

Mr Ben Akabueze, the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, called for the consolidation of the insurance industry to build trust among the citizens.

He stated that the insurance industry was ripped for disruption, innovation and growth, with the significance progress made in the industry.

“This industry has to move beyond thinking about mandate of the insurance to actually making insurance enduring culture of Nigerians.

“For that to happen, the industry must do better by building trust. It is about our repetition among the generality of Nigerians. This country is in need of investment.

“I want to express my personal support for the consolidation of the insurance industry to take its rightful place. I was the CEOs of one of the banks when the banking industry went into consolidation.

“I knew what difference it made to the banking industry. According to him, in other countries, insurance companies own banks. In Nigeria, insurance company need to be associated with banks to appears strong.

“Investment will not happen without savings and insurance is a tool for mobilising national savings. “We look forward to seeing the industry contribute more in terms of mobilising the much needed investments in the country,” he said.


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Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has disowned Tope Olajide, 22-year-old fraudster arraigned for theft of customers deposits.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

The Bank said this in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said: “The attention of the management of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has been drawn to news currently circulating in the media, about the alleged arraignment of staff of the Bank on charges bordering on the theft of customers deposits.

“The Bank would like to clarify that the defendant, a 22-year-old Tope Olajide, IS NOT, and was at no point in time an employee of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.

“The alleged culprit was apprehended around 7:30 am, on Thursday, 27 August 2020, by security operatives after he was exposed by CCTV footage using ATM cards he had allegedly stolen and converted, to make withdrawals from the accounts tied to the stolen ATMs.

“The CCTV footage also showed the alleged culprit pretending to assist customers at ATMs whilst also attempting to fraudulently dispossess the customers of their ATMs.

“He was subsequently arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate Court on Monday, 14 September, for stealing the debit cards of two customers and using them to unlawfully withdraw the sum of N427,000.

“The Bank would also like to implore members of the public to be security conscious when conducting transactions at ATMs. Customers are advised to report any suspicious actions around them to security operatives who are usually stationed around the Bank’s ATMs, when carrying out transactions at any of our ATM locations.

“As an organisation, we hold dear the values of integrity, and we will continue to prioritise the safety of our customers effectively.”


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Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

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President Muhammadu  Buhari has approved the establishment of an   Infrastructure Company (Infraco) to be driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with the African Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

This is coming  on the heels of the foreign reserves’ slump to $36 billion following a cocktail of monetary policy interventions by the apex bank to cushion the scathing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, made these disclosures in Abuja at the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) with the theme: Facilitating a Sustainable Future: The role of Banking and Finance.

According to him, Infraco would enable the use of private and public capital to support infrastructure investment that will have a multiplier effect on growth across critical sectors.

“This entity would also be able to raise funds from the capital markets and mobilise long term finance to address some of our infrastructure needs, while providing reasonable returns to investors. “We believe this well-structured fund can act as a catalyst for growth in the medium and the long run. The support of the banking community will be important in achieving this objective.

“A well-built infrastructure system, comprising hard infrastructure such as roads and ports, and soft infrastructure such as broadband penetration, can have a multiplier effect on growth by enabling the expansion of business activities in the country”, he explained.

On foreign reserves, Emefiele attributed its crash to the decline in foreign exchange earnings and subsequent adjustments in the value of the naira to the dollar.


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Amana Bank signs Comprehensive Software Deal with Path Solutions

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Amana Bank, a leading Islamic bank in Somalia has announced that it has selected iMAL, the AAOIFI-certified core banking platform from Path Solutions to replace its legacy IT system and deploy a single, cloud-based digital banking platform to underpin its banking operations.

This is Path Solutions’ third win in Somalia after Premier Bank and MyBank Ltd. The company went through a lengthy competitive bidding to which all international suppliers were invited, before being selected as Amana Bank’s preferred technology partner.

According to a statement following the signing, Path Solutions will supply and install its flagship Islamic core banking platform iMAL in addition to its comprehensive digital suite at Amana Bank Somalia. The new digital software will provide instant 24/7 service availability with fast, inexpensive, easy and convenient online banking, frictionless payments and transfers, personalization, engagement and retention.

Abdirizak Hussein Malin, Chairman of Amana Bank Somalia commented, “As part of our strategy, Amana Bank has instituted a digital transformation plan that will help us meet the emerging needs of our customers and the increasing demands of innovation.

“Consequently, we required a partner with open and agile technology that will drive powerful change. We have chosen Path Solutions for its ability to deliver vital digital financial solutions at this critical time with its depth of experience supporting Islamic banks in Africa.

“The company has differentiated itself from other vendors in its unique ability to combine core Islamic values with modern digital banking solutions, and to fully comply with Sharia and banking regulations.

“We are confident that the new technology, proven to significantly improve levels of customer fulfilment, will transform our operations by driving incredible efficiency gains while also reducing risk, lowering overall IT costs via higher automation and lower maintenance spending”.

The new iMAL platform leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to help financial institutions get predictive insights for better data-driven decision making. It will also help strengthen customer loyalty through enhanced security transactions.

“We are delighted to partner with a leading Islamic bank in Somalia on a project that will set a new standard in digital banking for the country. Today, every financial institution has an incredible opportunity to apply advances in cloud computing to redefine every aspect of its business”, said Mohammed Kateeb, Path Solutions’ Group Chairman & CEO.

“Somalia’s Amana Bank is a good example of this transformation to drive innovation forward and ensure much more secure banking experience, enabling customers to enjoy the nuances of non-stop banking with cloud-based services.

The bank will also benefit from the full Islamic coverage which bridges the gap between modern customer requirements and intrinsic Islamic values. Our multi-award winning Islamic core banking platform will support the delivery of innovative digital products that are both Sharia-compliant and specialized for Amana Bank’s retail and corporate customers”.

The new agreement was signed by Amana Bank’s Chairman Abdirizak Hussein Malin and Path Solutions’ Group Chairman & CEO Mohammed Kateeb on Sunday 6 September at Path Solutions’ Dubai office. The implementation will be delivered 100% in the cloud and 100% remotely amidst the COVID-19 lockdown.


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