From Edet Udoh, Lagos
Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) said it will continue to engage with the National Assembly with a view to ensuring better understanding of the peculiar nature of insurance business as this would guide them in future dealings with the industry.
This was contained in a statement issued by NIA yesterday in Lagos and signed by its Director-General, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, in reaction to a report credited to the Chairman of the House Committee on Capital Markets and Financial Institutions, Tony Nwulu, who threatened to authorize the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to take over three Insurance Companies on account of “some alleged” infractions.
Ilori noted that the report credited to the Chairman has the potential of unsettling the market and de-marketing of the affected companies, adding that the affected companies just like other listed insurance companies are under the supervision of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and other government agencies that exercise oversight function over their operations.
She maintained that the Nigerian Insurers Association holds the institution of the National Assembly in very high esteem and would not do anything to denigrate it.
According to her, “We will continue to engage with the National Assembly with a view to ensuring better understanding of the peculiar nature of insurance business as this would guide them in future dealings with the industry.
“Whilst we recognize and appreciate the role of the National Assembly in the discharge of their oversight functions, we are compelled to note that resort to the press over matters that are under the regulatory purview of other government institutions and agencies without recourse to those agencies will not be best of business especially when if the report is contiguous as this,” she added.
She said the companies in question have not been queried by any of these regulatory agencies in respect of their operations with respect to their adherence to good corporate governance practices, dividend payment to shareholders, payment of statutory taxes both corporate and PAYE remittances.
Ilori noted the companies have had their audited Annual Accounts duly approved by all the government agencies including the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), adding that by noting these infractions in the books of these companies, the House Committee is calling to question the competency of the regulatory agencies that has the needed structure to carry out the review and give approval on the financials of these companies.
“More so when the shareholders of all the affected companies have expressed their satisfaction at the annual general meetings held during the reference period.
“At a time when all efforts should be geared towards promoting investment and capital inflows into the Nigerian economy and growing insurance contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the report is at variance with the actual position as it is capable of sending bad and ominous signals to the investing and insuring public as this will affect the ease of doing business,” she said.