By Ebere Nwoji
The Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, has said that some insurance firms operating in Nigeria are financially too weak. He also noted that these firms that are too financially feeble to operate are violating rules and regulations of the insurance industry in their bid to raise money for workers’ salaries.
Kari, made the remark in his keynote address at the 2017 Insurance Professionals’ Forum held in Abeokuta. Ogun State.
He said: “Insurance institutions must therefore review and where necessary, enhance their capital, risk management and governance in order to survive the interesting future ahead. Barring hindrances such as high costs of
implementation, paucity of requisite data and skills and political obstacles; we posit that an intelligence implementation of a strategic consolidation in Nigeria will boost the overall performance of the industry and position it as one of the foremost in the continent”.
Kari, who noted that his remarks should not be mistaken for another call for recapitalisation and consolidation exercise in the industry also said that the Nigerian insurance market deserves to be reckoned with internationally hence the need for operators to cooperate with each other.
According to him, “Our market by all standard deserves to be reckoned with in the International playground of insurance, but how can we when we operate in uncoordinated silos. We have to wake up, sort ourselves out and be ready to play our role at least in the sub-region.”
He lamented that the conduct of some of Nigeria’s insurance professionals is to say the least, appalling even as he urged the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, (CIIN) to take a critical look at the development with a view to coming up with measures to arrest it.
“We look forward to a day when a professional will be de-certified by the Institute for unprofessional conduct. Cases abound around us in other professions where the privileges of a practitioner are withdrawn for some unacceptable act in his calling”, he observed.
The Commissioner said when the President of CIIN, Funmi Babington -Ashaye and some members of her team visited his office in Abuja, he emphasised on the need to ensure members of the institute uphold the ethics of the profession.
He therefore called on the CIIN to review its Code of Conduct for members in order to be in tune with the current international best practice.
“There is obvious need to enforce discipline in the system and there cannot be a better a place to start than from the members of the Institute. In the spirit of self-regulation, the Commission therefore demands that the Institute gives an accelerated attention and incept the process of reviewing and enforcing the Code of Conduct for members, failure of which we would be left no option but to enforce it as contained the law”, he said.
Babington-Ashaye, on her part, said the theme of this year’s forum, ‘Solvency, Stability and Growth- Exploring Possibilities’, was specially and carefully chosen to draw attention to some of the critical challenges currently facing the insurance industry so that operators can evolve strategic solutions for the benefit of the industry.
She noted that when the economy was growing at an impressive rate and prospering, all sectors, including the insurance industry, also flourished.
According to her, similarly, since the economy has been experiencing serious macroeconomic challenges which currently manifest in sharp drop in productive and economic activities, high unemployment and crime rates, delinquent credit facilities and failure of many businesses, the insurance business is inevitably affected.
She noted that the need to meet insurance obligations have actually increased with these challenges.
According to her, although the nation has, happily, exited from recession, people must acknowledge the fact that many businesses and individuals are still going through financial and economic crises caused largely by happenings in the local and global business environments, over which they and insurance practitioners have no control.
“As an industry that indemnifies investors and risk takers, insurance underwriters must remain stable, strong, resilient and financially solvent enough to meet emerging obligations. How to achieve these goals in a sustainable way is part of the objectives of this year’s forum,” she stressed.
Seized Arms: Container Examination Followed Due Process, Says TICT
The management of Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) has said that contrary to media reports, the positioning and subsequent physical examination of a container of arms seized by the Nigeria Customs Service at the Tin Can Port followed due process.
Legal Manager of TICT, Mrs. Maryann Olopade, said in a statement in Lagos on Thursday that it was mischievous to speculate that the terminal operator was “in trouble” over the seized container of arms.
She said: “We have observed with great displeasure the false, unverified and unprofessional statement published in some newspapers. For the avoidance of doubt and in the interest of the well-meaning citizens of this great Country Nigeria, we wish to state as follows:
“Container No GESU 2555208-0, was discharged on our terminal on the 2nd of September 2017, from the Vessel M/V Bella Schulte Voyage 23582, it was booked on the 5th of September 2017 for examination on the 6th of September 2017, the booking for examination was duly reflected in the examination list for 6th of September 2017 and the list was delivered to the Customs CIU unit, and other Government Agencies.
“In line with the said booking the container was rightly positioned for examination, and the seal of the said container was cut on the instruction of Customs Officers.
“Following the discovery of the ammunitions in the said container, TICT as a responsible corporate citizen has rendered and continues to render every necessary assistance and information to assist the customs in the investigation of this matter, which such information has resulted in the interception of another container belonging to the same consignee also containing ammunitions.
TICT having acted at all times with every sense of responsibility is therefore surprised at the misinformation to the general public on this matter.”
Olopade explained that TICT’s function as a terminal operator is limited, amongst other things, to the receipt of containers from carrying vessels and delivery of same to the consignee’s, and as such TICT is not in any position to determine the type or nature of the cargo consigned in any container.
“Furthermore, we wish to assure the good people of our country Nigeria and indeed our esteemed client’s that we remain committed to deliver service with every sense of responsibility,” she added