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NICON demands leadership role in insurance sector


NICON Insurance Plc,

NICON Insurance Plc,

The Executive Director, NICON Insurance Plc, Akinsola Ale, on Monday canvassed the need to allow the firm plays the leadership role in the insurance subsector of the economy.

Ale, who appeared before members of the Adekunle Akinlade Abdulkabir led House of Representatives Committee’s remarked that the call was based on the fact that his outfit has the wherewithal to drive the sector effectively.

He claimed that but for government’s resolve to break the monopoly hitherto enjoyed by NICON, forcing it to lose majority of its policy, there would not be the rot in the insurance sector presently.

Saying that NICON can reclaim its leadership role if allowed to insure up to 49 -50 deals in the insurance sector, he lamented the appalling patronage of by ministries, departments and agencies of government (MDAs).

Said he: “For about 36 years, we carried on and did the job extremely well. There was no issue of over-invoicing. Along the line in 2005, when it was privatised and 70 per cent equity was sold to a core investor, the Energy Group, and the government retained 30 per cent, NICON lost monopoly. And then confusion came in. That was when sharp practices started.”

“For now, NICON insurance has lost majority of its policies. Now what we have are just crumbs. But we still pride ourselves as thorough bred professionals with integrity. We have not wavered on those ones. We also believe that if others can be professional the issue of cutting corners will not arise. We still do everything to compete. But we have not been successful enough.”

He disclosed that there were 500 staffs on the payroll of NICON with a spread of 40 branches across the country. He also said there were 12 MDAs that are already patronising the firm.

The committees probing the fraudulent multi-billion cash pay out to government officials yearly by insurance companies thereby directed him to come up with a comprehensive copy of his submission on Friday, this week.

Earlier, Abdulkabir stated that the probe covers those that bought and sold covers on behalf of the Federal Government between 2013, 2014 and 2015.
He disclosed that the probe included an in-depth audit of the selection process and execution of such covers by government assets by underwriters with the view of eradicating this fraudulent practice.

“The aim of this Public Review on Submissions, which is a prelude to a full-scale public hearing, is to give each organisation the opportunity of fair hearing. We intend to highlight some of our findings for clarification. In a bid not to ambush or entrap anyone throughout the cause of this investigative hearing, observations and concerns will be projected on the screen.”

He thereby read the riot act to government agencies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian Customs Service, Nigeria Security and Minting Corporation, among others that are yet to make submissions after tax payers’ monies was spent on a full page advertorial notice for compliance in the Daily Trust of Monday 17th October 2016.

Continuing, he noted: “It is unfortunate that they are under the illusion that this is ‘business as usual’. The assumption that by submerging their heads under water and holding their breaths, this investigation will pass by is a grave error of judgment because this Committee shall invoke its full powers to enforce compliance.”

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