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Nigerian Insurers Pool N726.2bn Premium in 2022

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Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) yesterday said that the volume of premium recorded by its member companies in 2022 grew to about N726.2 billion.

Mr Olusegun Omosehin, NIA’s Chairman, said this while delivering an address at the 52nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association in Lagos.

Omosehin said that the figure recorded is estimated to be an increase of 33.9 per cent over the premium income of N569.1 billion recorded in 2021.

He said, despite the economic downtown in the country, the insurance industry continues to take its place in the economic space as the economic driver, restorer of businesses and a dependable safeguard of national assets.

“As a subset of the national financial system, the insurance industry also had a fair dose of the general economic and socio-political problems bedeviling the country in the past one year.

“Perennial power outages, herders and farmers conflicts, kidnapping, banditry poor infrastructural facilities, increasing poverty galloping inflation, flooding and other natural catastrophes.

“Also, geometric rise in exchange rate of the business resulting in high cost of operations.

“Notwithstanding these challenges, insurance companies continue to discharge their obligations as financial intermediators and restorer of businesses in line with their mandate,” he said.

According to him, the association is working closely with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and other stakeholders within the financial services and technology segments to promote the business of insurance.

Omosehin said the collaboration was geared toward increasing the sector’s contribution to the national Gross Domestic Products (GDP), which will lead to increase insurance penetration and density.

He expressed regret that the Consolidated Insurance Bill 2020 was not signed into law during the 9th Assembly, despite the spirited effort made by the association to ensure that it was.

Omosehin appreciated NIA Governing Council members and past chairmen who worked tirelessly to ensure that the bill was signed.

He noted that the governing council would review the process that had brought the bill that far and take the next steps in the coming months after due consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

Omosehin commended the significant progress made by the Energy and Allied Insurance Pool of Nigeria (EAIPN), conceived by the NIA, to build local capacity and reduce premium flight in oil and gas underwriting.

He charged the general business insurance companies to increase their patronage to the pool to improve the capacity of the local market to underwrite oil and gas risk through the pool.

In her address, Mrs Yetunde Ilori, Director-General, NIA, said that in the course of the year under review, the association collaborated on a joint project with the Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS).

Ilori said the collaboration is on enforcement and validation of genuine compulsory motor third party insurance.

She said this was made mandatory by extant laws through the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) device of VIS and the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID), verification platform of NIA.

The director-general appreciated the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas, Heads of companies in the industry, various associations and stakeholders for their support toward NIA.

Mr Austin Ebose, Managing Director, Anchor Insurance Company Ltd., and Mrs Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, Managing Director, Royal Exchange Assurance Nigeria Ltd., were inaugurated as governing council members of association.

The NIA’s governing council said that their swearing-in followed an election and ratification by its members.

Stakeholders at the AGM included: representatives from NAICOM, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria, Association of Registered Insurance Agents of Nigeria (ARIAN), among others.

 


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Customs Says No NIN, No Food as FG Begins Distribution of Seized Food Items

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Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has commenced the distribution of seized food items across the country, following a mandate from the federal government, in a bid to alleviate the economic hardships faced by Nigerians.

Customs Says No NIN, No Food as FG Begins Distribution of Seized Food Items

Beneficiaries would be required to provide a verifiable National Identification Number (NIN) to access the assistance.

Wale Adeniyi, customs comptroller-general, announced the initiative during a flag-off event in Lagos, highlighting the collaboration with other agencies to ensure direct distribution to those in need.

The distribution targets various segments of the population, including artisans, teachers, and religious organizations, with an emphasis on reducing food prices.

Adeniyi assured the public of the safety of the distributed rice, certified by NAFDAC, and outlined measures to prevent misuse or diversion.

The operation addresses food hoarding and smuggling, contributing to the government’s broader strategy to stabilize food prices and enhance national food security.

 

 

 


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Access Bank, FG Partner to Provide N50bn Funding for MSMEs

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Access Bank has said that it will be working with the Office of the Vice President to provide N50 billion as soft loans and grants to four million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in the country.

Chioma Ogwo, Head, Emerging Businesses at Access Bank Plc, disclosed this at the Inaugural Job Creation and MSME Quarterly Communications Forum in Abuja on Thursday.

Ogwo said the initiative was aimed at empowering businesses in Nigeria, by building their capacities and providing them with financial support.

According to her, 4 million MSMEs are expected to be empowered every year for four years, with 70,000 having access to finance while 300,000 will receive training.

She also mentioned that as part of the initiative, selected SMEs will have the chance to travel overseas and observe how businesses operate in other nations through its Business Exchange Programme.

Ogwo said: “So, this initiative, called the Youth Thrive by Access, is focused on MSMEs and we are looking at empowering them. There are different ways in which we are going to empower them. We are going to empower them by building their capacity and giving them access to affordable finance.

“We are going to build their capacities in different ways. There is going to be digital, technical, and also, skill acquisition training. With regards to finance, we are going to be giving them loans, and we are also going to be giving them grants.

“The grants are free. They are not paying us back. But, we are only giving grants to deserving SMEs who have done very well and there are price ranges for different categories.

“So, we have earmarked 50 billion for this intervention. For the first year, we will look at it and then will would review it”

While praising Access Bank for the initiative, Mr. Temitola Adekunle-Johnson, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and MSMEs, Office of the Vice-President, stated that the objective was to remove obstacles to MSMEs’ loan access and to secure lower interest rates for them.

Johnson added that after evaluating the initiative’s effectiveness, the federal government would then consider whether to expand the funding.

According to him, “What we are trying to achieve is to be able to guarantee seamless and easy access to funding for the SMEs. We want businesses to be able to apply for funding and be sure that in the worst case, in 14 days, you have the funds that you need for your business.

“We do not want businesses to apply for loans and be waiting for disbursement in six weeks. Some of these businesses can fold up within those months. So, what we want, and what they have promised us, which we know they have the capacity to deliver on, is that this disbursements will be quick after the loan assessments are processed, so that we will help reduce the bottlenecks of MSMEs running from pillar to looking for funding.”


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MoneyMaster PSB Records Increase in Customer Base

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MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank, promoted and backed by digital services company Globacom has continued to witness tremendous increase in its customer base since it commenced operations.

The PSB which launched commercial operations in May 2022 in order to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria is focused on the unbanked and under-banked in the country.

The number of customers has been on increase with majority of them attracted by the bank’s digital channels such as USSD, mobile app and internet banking which allow them to open accounts, buy airtime and data, pay utility bills and perform other services hitch free.

The PSB has also embarked several innovations, with new services introduced in recent times for the benefit of its customers across the country.

These developments, industry sources said propelled Nigerians to join the bank in order to enjoy series of top – notch financial services and also conduct their banking transactions assurance promptly.

The sources disclosed further that “There are currently over 4,000 billers on the MMPSB platform and that the number is growing on a daily basis.

“Through the platform, customers are able to pay for many essential services such as airtime, data, electricity, cable subscription, etc”.

The PSB is also retooling and reengineering its operation with several new initiatives to be unveiled soon for better customer experience, thus assuring them of exciting times ahead.


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