Monday, 3 March 2014

NAICOM Denies Involvement in Diversion of N3.54bn Premium

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The insurance regulator, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has denied allegations of conniving with the Accountant General of the Federation in the fraudulent diversion of the N3.54 billion premium paid by the Nigerian Police for the group life assurance of its staffs.

Aiico Insurance Plc and Standard Insurance Consultants Limited accused the commission of conniving with the office of the accountant general to divert the insurance premium for the police group life assurance payable to them to Custodian Life Assurance Company Limited and Hogg Robinson Nigeria Limited.
The Assistant Director in charge of Corporate Communications at the commission, Mr. Salami Rasaaq, said NAICOM was “not involved in the pre-qualification and selection process of awarding the group life insurance policy of the Nigeria Police or any other agency or organ to insurance brokers or underwriters.”

He said the commission had no powers to direct the accountant general to pay premium for any cover to any insurer or broker and did not do anything of such at any time.
“From available records, there is nothing to suggest that NAICOM was involved in the transactions,” Rasaaq stressed.

He therefore called on the general public and stakeholders to disregard any misinformation by the aggrieved parties and asked them to go back and readdress their grievances to appropriate quarters.

The assistant director noted that Section 291 of the Pension Reforms (Amendment) Act, 2011 exempted members of the armed forces, police and intelligence and secret services from being part of the pension and group life assurance arranged by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (OHOSF).

He recalled that the National Pension Commission (PenCom) advised the Inspector General of Police on August 07, 2012 to solely/entirely handle the Nigeria Police Force group life assurance programme from 2013 and to make necessary arrangements to submit the 2013 budget proposal for this transaction to the Budget Office of the Federation.

He further recalled that the police on August 16, 2012 informed  the Director General of the Budget Office of its autonomy to manage the insurance programme separate from those of the civilians and other forces, adding “we are making arrangements for the submission of 2013 budget proposal for the Nigeria Police Group Life Assurance.”

Rasaaq also said the police advertised for insurers to bid to supply the group life assurance for its members wherein 20 insurance companies and 46 brokers participated in the pre-qualification process conducted by the police in February 2013.

He noted that in May 2013 Hogg Robinson was appointed as Lead broker to handle the scheme for 2013, which in turn received quotes from insurance companies after which it advised the police to pick Custodian Life Assurance Company as the lead insurer.
“As requested in your letter, we are pleased to forward herewith the various costs and benefits submitted by the Assures for your consideration. In this circumstance, we hereby recommend Custodian Life Assurance Company’s submission for Leadership,” Rasaaq said quoting Hogg Robinson.

He also recalled that the police on June 5, 2013 informed the OHOSF that “we have now placed the 2013 group life insurance programme with our underwriters and brokers and have approached the Budget Office to release the money to our lead underwriters/lead brokers.”

Also, PenCom was said to have told the director general of the budget office that it was not opposed to the payment of premium for the police cover to their preferred insurer and broker to enable them manage the scheme.
Rasaaq said that from the start to finish, NAICOM did not come into the picture and never instructed the accountant general to pay any insurer.(THISDAY)

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