NAICOM Takes Over UNIC Insurance, Plans Forensic Audit
By Dipo Olowookere
The regulatory agency for insurance business in Nigeria, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has taken over operations at UNIC Insurance Plc.
This followed the sacking of management of the insurer and the constitution of a four-man interim board to pilot the affairs of UNIC Insurance for the next six months.
The takeover of the firm, which happened on Thursday, according to NAICOM, is to ensure safety of policyholders’ investment as well as sanitise the insurance industry.
The interim board is chaired by NAICOM’s former Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr Samuel Ordu, while Mr Theophilus Eke will serve as its interim Managing Director.
Other members are Ifeyinwa Ann Momah and Nicholas Shaiyen.
During its six-month lifespan, the interim board will conduct a forensic audit on the firm’s financial position as well as point out the corporate governance failures observed in the course of reviewing the financial statements of the company.
On Friday, NAICOM explained that it was taking over UNIC Insurance to rescue it from distress. The firm has been unable to pay claims to policyholders and had weak financial result.
It was gathered that NAICOM plans to spread its tentacles to other insurance companies operating in the country.
Recall that few days ago, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Mohammed Kari, said there was an urgent need for consolidation between the firms.
He said aside the underwriters, all other insurance operators especially brokers would also need to consolidate.
According to him, out of 27 companies, only six or seven have paid dividend in last three years, pointing out that the resolution to consolidate was reached and agreed upon by the regulator and operators at the Insurers Retreat held recently in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He further advised operators who are seeking or may want to seek for a new operating license to acquire some of the existing weak companies, stating that consolidation will enable the companies to strengthen themselves financially.