By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has rolled out its three-year strategic reform (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.
According to the commission, it has already started this through expert advice on owners of various insurance firms in order not to repeat or face some challenges it had in the past.
For instance, it noted that firms 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 per cent maximum investment in the real estate sector.
Making the disclosure recently, NAICOM’s Director of Supervision, Mr Thompson Barineka, who was speaking on behalf of the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thompson, said that most of the firms currently regarded as weak were considered so because they could not quickly turn those assets into cash and continue to discharge their responsibilities to the public.
Mr Thomas said this being the case, the agency, having accomplished the five-year strategic plans it had set for itself, is now embarking on a three-year reform.
This new reform is aimed at positioning the commission as a globally competitive regulator whose functions are compliant with global best practices and whose supervisory roles support strong insurance institutions that can stand the risks of other economic operators and meet the prevailing needs of the insuring public.
The reforms, according to Mr Thomas, rest 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.
He further noted that some unexpected occurrences necessitated the need of 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 further said NAICOM would also ensure periodic review and performance monitoring of the plan within its life span bearing in mind the pandemic.
He noted that within the first year of his administration, stability has been achieved within the commission and the entire industry with staff welfare at the front burner.
He also noted that 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.
Mr Thomas said before his tenure, the last reinsurance firm licensed in the country was 32 years ago while the last insurance firm was licensed 10 years ago.
The NAICOM boss 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 neighbourhood of over N12 trillion, it is expected that some of these funds will find their ways to the insurance sector but at present, insurers are still scratching business on the surface,” he added
Group Launches Institute to Empower Startups, Entrepreneurs
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Association of African Startups, a leading Pan-African organization focused on equipping African Entrepreneurs with the required skills to create a sustainable business, has launched its Business Institute tailored to empowering African entrepreneurs.
The unveiling took place at the Association of African Startups Tech summit that occurred on June 18, 2022.
The Association of African Startups Business Institute (TAAS Business Institute) is a seamless tech platform that allows African entrepreneurs and the diaspora to gain access to 50 courses bathed in bundles for ease of learning and that would aid in business transformation.
These courses have been designed to help both existing entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs to scale their businesses and enter new markets within the continents and in the diaspora.
The institution allows entrepreneurs to gain access to 12-week intensive learning and development sessions with academia with over 30 years of experience.
Commenting on the development, Mrs Just Omomo Ibe, the founder and President of the Association of African Startups said the launch was a step towards uniting Africa’s five regions.
“We are pleased to finally launch the Association of African Startups Business Institute. This is a huge feat for us to bring to life a one-of-a-kind virtual training institute relevant to the regions of Africa and the diaspora. The goal is to train and equip and 10,000 entrepreneurs across the 5 regions.
“The Association of African Startups business Institute was designed for each of these entrepreneurs having access to 12 weeks of intensive learning and development sessions.
“Over the years, there has been a growing gap in which entrepreneurs lack the requisite skills and resources needed to grow their business.
“Therefore, I believe there is a need to bridge the gap which would aid in improving the ease of doing business. The Business institute was created to equip and empowers entrepreneurs with the requisite resources needed to compete comparatively within their market and globally.
“We believe with this new feat; we are strategically and deliberately creating a pool of entrepreneurs whose businesses will stand and surpass the 5 years mark of entrepreneurs within the continent,” she said.
She added, “Join us to make our strategic objective achievable by partnering with us to reach 10,000 entrepreneurs across the 5 regions.”
NUPRC to License Successful Marginal Oilfield Bids June 28
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has confirmed that it will issue Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPL) to successful awardees of Marginal Fields in the 2020 Bid Round on Tuesday, June 28.
The disclosure came from Mr Gbenga Komolafe, the Chief Executive Officer of NUPRC in a statement issued over the weekend, saying that the licencing would be conducted pursuant to the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021.
The PPL is expected to ensure that the awardees contribute to the country’s increased crude oil production capacity which currently stood around 1.4 million barrels per day.
Nigeria has been bedevilled by a lack of capacity to meet the 1.799 million barrels per day capacity allocated to it by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other allies known as OPEC+ under a record deal signed in 2020.
With this new development, it hopes to exceed that allotted capacity soon.
Mr Komolafe said that the commission had in March informed all participants in the 2020 marginal oilfield bids round programme that it had put all necessary machinery in place to conclude the bid round exercise in line with the PIA 2021.
He also said that the agency would unveil the implementation template for the Host Communities Development Trust for commencement of the provisions under Section 235 of the PIA.
This, he said, was to positively impact restiveness in the host communities, and in the process guarantee seamless operations, boost investors’ confidence and provide enabling environment for sustainable development of the country’s hydrocarbon resources.
“These will mark the conclusion of some of the most urgent and critical tasks inherited by the Commission when it was inaugurated in October 2021, after the signing into law of the PIA 2021,” he said.
He added that the Commission constituted an in-house team to distil and address the concerns of awardees with a view to settling issues affecting multiple awardees per asset and formation of Special Purpose Vehicles by awardees, in line with the respective letters of award.
Mr Komolafe, therefore, urged awardees to avail themselves of the resolution mechanism provided by the Commission in the overriding national interest.
NOSDRA Blames Vandals for OML 18 Oil Leaks in Rivers
By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has confirmed an oil wellhead leak at the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 18 due to activities of vandals.
The well is operated by an indigenous operator, Eroton Exploration and Production Limited.
OML 18, which produces and exports crude through the 97-kilometre Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL), is located near the corridors of the export line in Rivers.
It was revealed that residents said the facility had been discharging oil and gas into the coastal environment for the past week.
Mr Idris Musa, Director-General of NOSDRA, who confirmed the leak, said NOSDRA had received reports on the incident and efforts were being made to plug the leaking oil well.
“The company reported and oil recovery is underway. Efforts are on to stop the source which is a wellhead,” Mr Musa said.
Also, a notification report by Mr Odianosen Massade, Corporate Communications Lead of Eroton indicated that the incident occurred on June 15, while a site assessment visit was carried out on June 23.
The oil firm said that preliminary findings indicated that the incident was due to suspected vandalism.
“This is to bring to your attention the loss of control of Cawthorne Channel well 15 resulting to an oil spill,” the company said.
CAWC015L/S is a dual string well which started production in May 1977. The shorts string was shut-in in 1988 due to the high gas oil ratio (HGOR), while the long string watered out and well quit in 1991.
“The spill started on the 15th of June 2022 and immediately an emergency response procedure was activated.
“The operations team quickly visited the site for preliminary investigation and discovered that the wellhead was vandalised.
“It was also observed that the wellhead platform was removed, and this will compound the difficulties in gaining access to the wellhead.
“Our team of Well Engineers are working with contractors and evaluating the safest procedure that will be required to bring the well under control.
“We have activated our oil spill emergency response plan and booms have been deployed for mitigation in the area as a preliminary containment procedure.
“Notifications have also been sent to all the relevant Regulators (NOSDRA, NUPRC & RSMENV).
“A Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) by all stakeholders is planned for this week although this is subject to the readiness and availability of the critical stakeholders.
“Our operations team is monitoring the site, commenced oil recovery and are prepared to respond to any escalation,” Eroton stated.
This is one in a series of leaks with one of the most recent happening on November 5, 2021, at nearby OML 29 operated by Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production discharged more than 8,000 barrels of crude oil for some 32 days before the leak was plugged.
Eroton and Aiteo acquired their assets following the 2015 divestment by Shell Petroleum Development Company from some of its onshore assets.
The two Nigerian companies assumed operator status in the joint venture arrangement with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).
Latest News on Business Post
- SERAP Drags Buhari to Court for Missing N11trn Electricity Funds June 26, 2022
- Group Launches Institute to Empower Startups, Entrepreneurs June 26, 2022
- NUPRC to License Successful Marginal Oilfield Bids June 28 June 26, 2022
- NOSDRA Blames Vandals for OML 18 Oil Leaks in Rivers June 26, 2022
- Champion Breweries, Others Champion 0.17% Growth on NGX June 25, 2022
- 19.2% Ease in FX Trades Bolsters Naira by 0.01% at I&E June 25, 2022
- NASD Exchange Closes Last Day of the Week 0.42% Higher June 25, 2022
- Oil Market Jumps 3% on Tighter Supply June 25, 2022
- SweepSouth to Battle Fichaya, Others for Market Share in Nigeria June 24, 2022
- Dollar Shortages Strike Again…Nigeria Indexes in Crosshairs June 24, 2022