The President, Africa Insurance Organisations (AIO), Mr Tope Smart, on Tuesday charged stakeholders in Africa’s insurance industry to leverage the opportunities offered by the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to grow the sector.
Smart said that maximising the opportunity offered by the trade would grow the insurance sector across the continent.
He spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) following his emergence as the new president of AIO at the recently concluded 47th AIO conference and Annual General Meeting in Lagos.
Smart said that AIO is a microcosm of AFCTA, with the cardinal objective of promoting cooperation among Africans in the insurance business.
“So, with AfCFTA, the removal of trade barriers will lead to increase in intra-African trade, which will lead to increase in demand for insurance across Africa.
“My responsibility is to engage stakeholders in the insurance sector in Africa to take advantage of this initiative to grow the sector,” he said.
Smart, also Managing Director/CEO, NEM Insurance Plc, urged market operators across the region to share information and experience among one another.
He said that such information would enable receiving markets to advance the growth of insurance in their domain.
On the five-point agenda he rolled out during his investiture, the AIO president said he would address the issue of low consumer trust to increase insurance penetration.
“This is a major barrier to the growth of insurance in Africa but payment of claim obligations by operators as and when due will address this issue.
“My administration’s five -point agenda, if well pursued, would increase the rate of insurance penetration across Africa.
“Wherever I stop, having laid a good foundation, I expect my successor to continue from there in the interest of insurance sector in Africa,” he said.
Smart described his emergence as president as a big honour to Nigeria, which last occupied the position about 21 years ago.
He said the position presented him with an opportunity to come up with some initiatives that would change the narrative about the practice of insurance across Africa.
“It will also give me an opportunity to correct some negative conversations around insurance practice in Africa,” he said.
The AIO president appreciated all stakeholders in the industry for the massive support he got during his investiture.
NAN reports that Kenya has been nominated to host the 2022 AIO conference, where Smart will hand over the baton to a new president.(NAN)
NDIC commences payment of N16.18bn to liquidated banks’ depositors
Following impressive recoveries from debtors and realisation of assets of banks in liquidation, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has declared N16.18 billion liquidation dividends to depositors, creditors and shareholders of 20 banks in-liquidation.
A statement by the Director, Communication & Public Affairs, NDIC, Bashir Nuhu, disclosed that the Corporation has commenced verification and payment of stakeholders covered by the declarations within 30 days, starting from 28th September 2023.
The ongoing payment is sequel to an earlier payment of various sums which cumulatively amounted to N45.45bn as liquidation dividends in respect of the 20 banks by July 2023, Nuhu said.
Relevant stakeholders have been requested to visit any of the NDIC offices closer to them or go to the claims page on the corporation’s website, www.ndic.gov.ng to download, complete and submit the verification form with prescribed supporting documents to a dedicated email.
The closed banks covered by the exercise are Liberty Bank, City Express Bank, Assurance Bank, Century Bank, Allied Bank, Financial Merchant Bank, Icon Merchant Bank, Progress Bank, Merchant Bank of Africa (MBA), Premier Commercial Bank, North South Bank and Prime Merchant Bank.
Others are Commercial Trust Bank, Cooperative and Commerce Bank, Rims Merchant Bank, Pan African Bank, Fortune Bank, All States Trust Bank, Nigeria Merchant Bank and Amicable Bank in-liquidation.
Liquidation dividends represent amounts in excess of the insured sums paid by the NDIC to depositors of a closed bank from recoveries made from realisation of assets of failed financial institutions. They also cover the amount paid to creditors and shareholders of closed banks after full payment to depositors of such defunct banks.
Senate Confirms Appointment Of Cardoso, Others As CBN Governor And Deputies
The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the appointment of Yemi Cardoso as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor and four others as Deputy Governors of the apex bank.
They were confirmed on Tuesday following a screening by the upper legislative body.
The deputy governors who were confirmed are Emem Nnana Usoro, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor, and Bala Bello.
“The nomination of Olayemi Cardoso is hereby confirmed as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” Senate President Godswill Akpabio said.
Before their confirmation, the nominees had answered questions on matters related to economic and other policies.
During the screening, Cardoso promised to embrace compliance, assuring that under his leadership, the apex bank would remain apolitical.
“I believe that the Central Bank under our watch will have no choice but to embrace a culture of compliance,” he said.
“We will not wait for oversight to come and tell us what to do. We will ensure that by the time the system is passing through us, we catch it and we deal with it,” said Cardoso who promised zero tolerance for abuse of compliance.
“That is a cultural shift, a change in mindset, but we will make sure it happens,” the former Citibank Nigeria chairman assured.
Cardoso’s confirmation comes weeks after President Bola Tinubu nominated him as the acting CBN governor and four others as deputies.
He assumed office last week, replacing the then-acting governor of the CBN Folashodun Shonubi.
The recent appointments followed the suspension and resignation of Godwin Emefiele as the apex bank boss. The Delta-born began his reign in 2014 but got backlash owing to the naira redesign policy.
Emefiele, who was later arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) but released on bail, is being tried on an alleged N6.9b fraud.
Senate Screens CBN Governor, Deputies Today – Bamidele
The Senate will on Tuesday screen former Chairman of the Board of Citi Bank Nigeria, Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso for the position of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The senate will also screen four nominees for the positions of CBN Deputy Governors, who will join forces with Cardoso to steer affairs of the apex bank in the next five years.
In a statement by the Media Office of the Senate Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, the senate will screen all the nominees following its resumption from its annual recess.
The statement said: “The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will resume plenary on Tuesday, September 26. We will consider the screening of Dr. Cardoso at the Committee of the whole.
“Dr. Cardoso will be screened alongside four deputy governors namely Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro, Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Mr. Philip Ikeazor, and Dr. Bala M. Bello.
“Besides, the Senate has scheduled to screen the ministerial nominees – Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim and Mr. Ayodele Olawande, respectively designated as Minister of Youth and Minister of State for Youth on October 3.”
On September 15, President Tinubu approved the nomination of Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He also approved the nomination of four deputy governors for a term of five years each at the first instance, pending their confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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