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Nigerian Insurers' Association (NIA), the body representing 97 out of the 103 insurance companies operating in the country has put the value of gross premium income.....
Insurance Firms Generate N87bn In 2005
Nigerian Insurers' Association (NIA), the body representing 97 out of the 103 insurance companies operating in the country has put the value of gross premium income of its member-companies last year at N86.7 billion.
The out-going Chairman of the association, Mr. Oye Hassan-Odukale, who disclosed this at the organisation's 35th Annual General Mreeting in Lagos yesterday, said this figure is N7.4 billion higher than the N69.4 billion that these companies raked in from their underwriting activities in 2004.
Hassan-Odukale also stated that the 97 underwriting firms under the NIA umbrella settled claims valued at N29.16 billion last year as againstthe N26 billion that they paid out the previous year.
Reflecting on the operating environment in the country, Odukalestated that the economy crawled uphill, pointing out that the inflation rate that was said to have reduced to a single digit within the period under review.
"Infrastructure constraints, high level poverty and insecurity remain a serious concern to the economy and the insurance sector in particular", he stated.
On the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) programme initiated by the President Olusegun Obasanjo led Federal Government, Hassan-Odukale argued that while the programme appeared to be lofty and laudable, the persistent energy crisis in the country has not only posed a serious challenge to the government, but also undermined the success of the government's economic reform agenda.
He also that the privatisation programme of the Federal Government appeared to be on track with the privatisation of National Fertiliser Company Limited (NAFCON) and the Onne Port in Port Harcourt, Rivers State but maintained that "its inability to sell the Nigerian Telecommunications Company Limited "The privatisation of the energy sector has not yielded positive results even though the unbundling of the defunct National Electric Authority (NEPA) and the creation of a holding company, Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was intended to fast track the process of establishing autonomous generation, transmission, and distribution companies", Hassan-Odukale added.
He, however, commended the Federal Government for successful privatisation of the NICON Insurance Corporation (NICON) saying "of importance to the insurance industry is the final sale of NICON Insurance Corporation to private investors which of
course is a vote of confidence reposed by investors on the insurance industry".
"The successful negotiation of an $18 billion debt write-off by the Paris Club represents one of the landmark achievements of the Federal Government in 2005. The debt forgiveness has given our country the rare opportunity to completely exit the Paris Club, thereby reducing the nationís total debt portfolio from $35 billion to $5 billion", the former NIA Boss stated.
On port reforms,Hassan-Odukale served that "notwithstanding the eventual sale of the Ports, the various security measures, the implementation of destination as well as enforcement of the provisions of the International Safety and Ports Control Code are all intended to make Nigerian Ports more importer friendlyad business inclined".
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