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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.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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