Insurance body tackles lawmakers over N200b fraud claims
The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has discredited claims made by the Chairman Ad-hoc Committee on Insurance, House of Representatives, under the leadership of Adekunle Akinlade (APC, Ogun), that mass fraud of over N200billion was discoved in insurance of federal government assets.
The Chairman NIA, Eddie Efekoha, while fielding questions at its press briefing in Lagos, said: “The Association would have waited for the Committee to conclude its investigation before making its comments but to date so much damage has and is still being done to the image of our industry by some of the statements credited to the committee, which in their material facts are inconsistent with known insurance market practice.”
He frowned at the accusation against the sector, stating that there is no N200 billion fraud anywhere as claimed by the Akinlade.He noted that the chairman may not have been properly briefed about insurance operations.
He however called on the committee chairman to desist henceforth from making statements that are capable of further damage to the insurance industry
He maintained that the committee should engage thoroughly to have a full knowledge about insurance transactions before going to the press.
According to him, the association is ready to engage with the leadership of the committee with a view to shedding more lights on the operation of insurance business.
It would be recalled that in Octorber 2016, the House of Representatives panel said it has uncovered massive fraud in the payment of billions of naira to government officials yearly by insurance companies as insurance covers.
Not long after the inauguration of the ad-hoc committee in Abuja, the chairman of the committee, Akinlade (APC, Ogun), said the panel has in its possession documents that showed how payments were made to non-licensed and non-existent brokerage firms by MDAs.
He said the committee also uncovered unpaid claims running into billions of naira, paper trails of monies paid to individuals and third party companies as well as over-valued premium payments for the years under review.He said out of the over 100 MDAs and insurance firms the committee demanded information from, only a few responded.
However, in an exclusive interview with the President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Kayode Okunoren, wondered why the committee would mentioned a fraud of N200 billion insurance scam was committed, when the total premium income is around N300 billion, saying that the committee’s pronouncement has further saturated the image of insurance industry.
“How can you say there is a scam of N200 billion when the total premium income of the industry is N300 billion. I think somebody is just trying to stir things up for their personal gain,” he reasoned.