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Experts Proffer Ways to Grow Insurance Sector

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  • Experts Proffer Ways to Grow Insurance Sector

Mr Ben Ujoatuonu, Managing Director, Universal Insurance Plc, on Thursday said with increased public awareness and prompt settlement of claims by policy holders, Nigeria’s Insurance sector would thrive.

Ujoatuonu, said this at the inauguration of the Retail Insured Family Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), with a theme “Enhancing Insurance Confidence in Nigeria: The Role of Policy Holders” in Abuja.

According to him, Nigeria’s insurance sector has great potential due to its huge population but is best be described as struggling, with less than one million adults having a form of insurance.

He said: “Beyond restoring insurance industry confidence, there is need to further deepen insurance penetration in Nigeria.

“The insurance industry must rise up to exploit Nigeria’s huge population to advantage; for a meaningful result, there should be coordinated approach in creating awareness in the grass root.

“On a broader perspective, synergies should be created between the regulator, operators and aggregators also, schools awareness campaign is another major way to `catch them young’.”

Mr Lawrence Dafiode, Managing Partner, Carmel and Associates, Risk and Management Consultant, who chaired the event, commended the players in the insurance sector, while urging them to do more to drive the sector.

He said: “We can all testify to the facts that the insurance industry in Nigeria has been performing below its potential and expectation.

“While many, at different times, have identified the challenges facing the industry, not much has been done to address them.

“It is for this purpose that I am happy to be part of this occasion as we inaugurate an organisation that aim at improving the performance of the industry by focusing on its retail end.”

Mr Akin Bello, National Chairman, RIFAN, in his address, expressed the association’s continued desire to partner stakeholders in the sector to increase insurance awareness at the grassroots and enhance overall public confidence in insurance.

Bello said: “RIFAN commends the efforts of the insurance industry at various levels, to improve the image of the insurance sector in Nigeria.

“We wish to identify with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) for being proactive in seeking partnership with the various states through the new State Insurance Producers (SIP) model.

“RIFAN hereby pledges her commitment to continue to support NAICOM in this direction,” he said.

According to him, RIFAN is registered under the laws of Nigeria as a free association of insurance policyholders in Nigeria with a mission to create awareness, increase public confidence and ensure prompt claims payment.

He said the association was working at having members in all the 36 states of the federation and would leverage a robust information technology platform to guarantee protection of members’ interest.

Mr Rotimi Ayeola, a representative of NAIC, urged the association to also reach out to farmers in the country while carrying out its mandate of public awareness of insurance.

He also expressed NAIC’s desire to support RIFAN in taking care of the policy holders, adding that NAIC would play the role expected of it to drive insurance penetration.

Representatives of Leadway Assuarance Plc, GNI and Veritas insurance all commended the management of RIFAN for taking the bold initiatives and pledged their commitment to support the association in every way possible.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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NNPC Plans Divestment Pathway For Joint Ventures Partnership

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it would outline policies to guide its joint venture partners (JVC) that wish to divest from joint ventures or the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari on Monday said that Nigeria, as a key player in global energy security, was addressing its challenges, mainly fiscal, security and cost competitiveness, to stimulate investments in the oil and gas industry.

Kyari, who spoke in Lagos while delivering an address at the opening ceremony of the Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition said, “NNPC, as a national oil company, is leading multiple initiatives to address this and other issues.

“As we celebrate the passage of the PIB, we have moved our focus to improve security architecture through collaboration with major stakeholders.”

According to him, the Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimisation Programme is working with operators and service contractors to challenge the cost of operations and increase profitability and growth in the industry.

“On the other hand, we are seeing a wave of divestment by oil majors operating in Nigeria. NNPC as a national oil company cannot stop partners from divesting their interest, even though it creates challenges for us in ensuring that we get the right and competent investors to take a position and add value to the assets.

“The NNPC will ensure that Nigeria’s national strategic interest is safeguarded by developing a comprehensive divestment policy that will provide clear guidelines and criteria for divestment of partners’ interest,” Kyari said.

He said the corporation would make clear distinctions between divestment of shares and operatorship agreements under various joint operating agreements while leveraging its rights of pre-emption and evaluating the operational competence and tract records of new partners.

Kyari said in order to sustain a prosperous business environment, particular attention would be paid to abandonment and relinquishment costs, severance of operator staff, third party contract liabilities, competency of the buyer, and post purchased technical, operational and financial capabilities.

He said the NNPC would declare its first dividend to Nigerians as it prepares to release its 2020 financial statements in the third quarter of this year.

The local unit of the Royal Dutch Shell had in May said that its onshore oil portfolio in Nigeria was ‘no longer compatible with its strategic ambitions.

“We have reduced the total number of licenses in onshore Nigeria by half. But unfortunately, our remaining onshore operations continue to be subject to sabotage and theft,” Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden, told investors at the company’s AGM.

Early this year, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited concluded the sale of their combined 45 percent interest in Oil Mining Lease 17 and related assets in the Eastern Niger Delta to TNOG Oil and Gas Limited.

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Petrol Subsidy Likely to Gulp N2T This Year –Rainoil GMD

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Nigeria may end up spending N2 trillion on petrol subsidy this year if the current situation persists, the Group Managing Director, Rainoil Limited, Dr Gabriel Ogbechie, has said.

Ogbechie said this on Sunday at the Nigeria History Series of the Centre for Values in Leadership, themed ‘Indigenous participation in the downstream oil and gas sector’ moderated by Prof. Pat Utomi.

While lamenting the lack of deregulation in the downstream sector, he said the government was spending about N8m daily on petrol subsidy.

He described the sector as highly regulated, saying, “I wonder if there is any other sector of the economy that is as regulated as the downstream.”

He said, “The biggest elephant in the room today as far as the downstream is concerned is the failure, so to speak, of the government to deregulate the downstream – fixing the price at which petroleum products are sold, I believe, is very seriously harmful to this economy.”

According to him, the landing cost of the petrol imported into the country is about N300 per litre, based on the current naira-dollar exchange rate.

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Sirius Petroleum and Baker Hughes Collaborate on OML 65 Drilling in Nigeria

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Sirius Petroleum, the Africa-focused oil and gas production and development company, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Baker Hughes. The MoU names Baker Hughes as the approved service provider for Phase 1 of the Approved Work Program (AWP) of the OML 65 permit, a large onshore block in the western Niger Delta, Nigeria. Baker Hughes will provide a range of drilling and related services at a mutually agreed upon pricing structure to deliver the initial nine-well program.

Sirius has signed various legal agreements with COPDC, a Nigerian joint venture, to implement this program. COPDC has signed a Financial and Technical Services Agreement (FTSA) with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) for the development and production of petroleum reserves and resources on OML 65. The FTSA includes an AWP which provides for development in three phases of the block. and Sirius has entered into an agreement with the joint venture to provide financing and technical services for the execution of the PTA.

The joint venture will initially focus on the redevelopment of the Abura field, involving the drilling and completion of up to nine development wells, intended to produce the remaining 2P reserves of 16.2 Mbbl, as certified by Gaffney Cline and Associates (GCA) in a CPR dated June 2021.

Commenting, Toks Azeez, Sales & Commercial Executive of Baker Hughes, said: “We are extremely happy to have been selected for this project with Sirius and their JV partners. This project represents an important step towards providing our world-class integrated well-service solutions in one of the most prolific fields in the Niger Delta. Baker Hughes’ technological efficiency and execution excellence will help Sirius improve its profitability and competitiveness in the energy market.”

Bobo Kuti, CEO of Sirius, commented: “We are delighted to have secured the services of one of the world’s leading energy technology companies to work with our joint venture team to deliver the approved work program on the block. OML 65. We look forward to building a long and mutually beneficial partnership with Baker Hughes.”

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