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NAICOM Okays Recapitalisation Plans Of 44 Insurance Companies

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  • NAICOM Okays Recapitalisation Plans Of 44 Insurance Companies

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has approved the recapitalisation plan of 44 Insurance companies in Nigeria.

This was disclosed on Tuesday by NAICOM’s Director, Policy and Regulation, Agboola Pius during an interactive session with shareholders to update them on the 2019 recapitalisation directive, in Lagos.

With the number (44) that got NAICOM’s approval, there are still 10 insurance companies left.

Giving an update on the remaining 10, Pius said the commission rejected the recapitalisation plans of six insurance companies and directed them to make amendments.

Speaking further, he noted that the plans of two companies were under review, while the two other companies have not submitted any plans to the commission.

He said NAICOM saw the need for the recapitalisation to increase the retention capacity and conservation of foreign exchange earning of the insurance companies.

“The retention capacity is the maximum amount of risk retained by an Insurer per cover and the capital size of an underwriter.

“When the insurance companies are well solidified, they can retain most of the risk in the country,” he said.

He further disclosed that the commission has reeled out guidelines on the capital restructuring of the insurance firms; the option the firms choose to finance their assets and investment, except borrowing.

Pius listed the options as Initial Public Offering (IPO), Right issues, capitalisation of retained earnings and other means such as private placement, merger or acquisition.

He also disclosed that the commission has developed an appropriate framework to ensure that their investments were secured during the exercise.

The measures, according to him, include a directive to the insurance companies to deposit the recapitalisation fund in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Escrow account, which cannot be withdrawn without NAICOM directive after a time frame.

He highlighted the benefits of the recapitalisation as; High-Value Creation to limit borrowing, enabling of better strategic planning and reduction in cost of capital with proper oversight.

Pius added that it would also result to an increase in liquidity and Investment funds, Hedge Against Risk arising from Macro-Economic environment, among others.

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Prestige Assurance Grows Gross Written Premium to N7.01 Billion in 2020

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Prestige Assurance Plc, a leading insurance company in Nigeria, grew gross written premium from N6.13 billion recorded in 2019 to N7.01 billion in 2020.

Sarbeswar Sahoo, the Managing Director, Prestige Assurance, stated this in the company’s annual general meeting in Lagos.

He explained despite the tough business environment in the country, Prestige Assurance was able to post solid growth.

According to Sahoo, the company’s net premium income increased to N3.48 billion, up from N3.21 billion posted in 2019.

Shoos said, “Although the world is still battling with the pandemic and its effects on various sectors commendable, many businesses are cautiously optimistic of a more stable environment.

“Despite the challenging economic terrain, we were able to grow premium incomes and recorded strong profitability in the year.

“We remain committed to supporting customers with the right risk management solutions to ensure that businesses are well protected during and beyond this unstable period.”

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Leadway Health Partners LASG, REPPLAW For Blood Donation Drive

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Nigeria’s fast-growing health insurance provider, Leadway Health in partnership with the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service and REPPLAW Blood Donors Club, has announced its blood donation drive initiative to commemorate this year’s World Blood Donor Day.

The 2-day blood donation exercise is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, June 15 and Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at the Leadway Corporate Office in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria.

The initiative is in alignment with the 2021 theme of World Blood Donor Day, “Give blood and keep the world-beating,” to raise awareness of the critical need to provide safe blood through unpaid and voluntary blood donors to the nation’s healthcare system.

Speaking on the collaboration, Dr. Tokunbo Alli, Chief Executive Officer, Leadway Health, stated that “research by the World Health Organisation on the Impact of COVID 19 pandemic on blood supply and demand in the WHO African Region posits that the number of blood donations has dropped in 32 countries. Nigeria has recorded a 37.8 percent decrease in blood donations between June 2019 and June 2020.

“This sad reality calls for an immediate response from the government, national health authorities, corporate organizations, under which Leadway Health and other socially responsible organizations are primed and proud to respond and, most importantly, well-meaning individuals towards the wellbeing of every member of the society.

“The need for blood is universal, but access to blood for all those who need it is not. With this collaboration, we are optimistic that unpaid and voluntary donors will come out in their numbers to donate blood, show care, and contribute to better health which is a key driver for us at Leadway Health. We implore everyone especially the youth to embrace this humanitarian call to donate blood, inspire others to do the same and enhance communal solidarity”, he added.

Leadway Health is an innovative health maintenance organisation that provides a new dimension to conventional health insurance, with affordable, flexible, and technology driven services to address the inaccessibility and unaffordability barrier faced by the average Nigerian.

Leadway Health is an associated company with Leadway Assurance, one of Nigeria’s foremost insurance service companies with a reputation for service efficiency and customer reliability.

The organization is committed to providing innovative ways to equip every Nigerian with the tools needed to mitigate risks whilst adopting insurance as a top choice for wealth creation.

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NAICOM Unveils Three-Years Strategic Reforms for Insurance Sector

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The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) said it has rolled out three-years strategic reforms (2021-2023) that will see the transformation of the insurance sector.

The commission said the starting point of the reform was to return operating firms to liquidity status by ensuring that they restructure their balance sheets so that those that currently rely on assets that they can hardly turn to cash would effect a major turnaround in their operations and run their business based on cash flow instead of fixed assets.

The commission said it has already started this through expert advice on owners of various insurance firms who have in the past exceeded the maximum level of investment in real estate and are now facing a cash crunch and could not easily turn their assets to cash to keep afloat in business.

It further said it is strictly guiding operators to ensure that going forward none exceeds the 25 percent maximum investment in the real estate sector.

NAICOM Director of Supervision, Mr. Thompson Barineka, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thompson, at a media retreat organised by the regulator in Lagos at the weekend, revealed these.

He observed that most of the firms currently regarded as weak are not actually weak in the real sense of it considering the value of assets they have mainly in the real estate sector.

He said their actual problem is their inability to quickly turn those assets into cash and continue to discharge their responsibilities to the public.

Thomas said this being the case, the commission, having accomplished the five-year strategic plans it had set for itself, is now embarking on a three-year reform aimed at positioning the commission as a global competitive regulator whose functions are compliant with global best practices and whose supervisory roles enthrone the regime of strong, viable and virile insurance institutions strong enough to carry the risks of other economic operators and meet the prevailing needs of the insuring public.

The reforms according to Thomas rests on five strong pillars namely: entrenching effective and efficient service delivery; ensuring safe, sound and stable insurance sector; adequately protecting policyholders and public interest; improving trust and confidence in the insurance sector; encouraging innovation, and promotion of insurance market development.

According to him, the reform also gears towards ensuring absolute trust on the commission through its promotion of insurance market development tailored towards improving the scope of internal rule-base to a new risk-based supervision approach using its new integrated governance management system.

Thomas, who was appointed as commissioner for insurance one year ago, noted that he initiated the reforms considering the fact that since the development of the last strategic plan which lasted between 2016 – 2020, there have been various events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the #EndSARS protests, and the rise in kidnappings, armed banditry, communal tensions and conflicts, which have impacted on the activities and initiatives of the commission.

According to him, these events have ushered in the new normal hence shaping how the industry conducts its business going forward and the corresponding regulatory response.

He said this has also created the need to prepare the workforce for the new work order, protection of policyholders, improving human capital, leveraging on technology and creating alternative channels of insurance distribution to stimulate productivity. He said NAICOM would also ensure periodic review and performance monitoring of the plan within its life span bearing in mind the pandemic.

He said a flashback on the state of the insurance sector before he took over the leadership and its current state would show that within the one-year period, stability has been achieved within the commission and the entire industry with staff welfare at the front burner.

He said within the one-year period, his administration has been able to issue licenses to five insurance firms in the category of three life insurance, one general insurance and one reinsurance operator.
He said before his tenure, the last reinsurance firm licensed in the country was 32 years ago while the last insurance firm was licensed ten years ago.

He said in line with the three-year strategic reforms, his administration saw the need to bring in new life insurance operators because, in today’s economy, one area driving the flow of funds to the industry is life business.

“Why South Africa is dominating insurance market in Africa is because of its strength in the life insurance business. Today in Nigeria, the contributory pension asset is in the neighborhood of over N12 trillion, it is expected that some of these funds will find their way to the insurance sector but at present, insurers are still scratching business on the surface,” he added.

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