BY: Moses olajuwon Obajemu
The House of Representatives is worried over a $100 million insurance policy taken by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Joint Ventures (JVs) for non-existing assets overseas.
Darlington Nwokocha, chairman, house committee on insurance & actuarial matters, expressed sadness over the matter when the committee flagged off and presided over the 10-day investigative hearing/pre-forensic audit meeting.
He explained that the exercise was necessitated by alleged breaches on insurance by insurance business by practitioners; low retention capacity of dollar-denominated insurance business and the effect on the economy; and under-utilisation of capacity of insurance policy, the practice and effects of domiciling insurance ventures abroad.
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According to him, others are issues and prospects of ineffective regulation of foreign placements of insurances; alleged loss of billions of naira by the nation through insurances of moribund assets, non-existent assets and high premium rates; alleged huge unsettled life insurance claims, poor handling of Group Life insurance schemes, its effects on the motivation and productivity of working class citizens and non-payment/un-allowed deductions on entitlements of the surviving families.
Nwokocha explained that after the pre-forensic meeting, the Committee would deploy Forensic Auditors to NNPC and all the MDAs as well as insurance companies and brokers handling the portfolios.
The chairman, who underscored the importance and contribution of insurance to the economies in other climes, however, observed that the story is different in Nigeria.
He said: “I want to assert one thing before my colleague moves the motion. Let me talk to all of us, particularly those of us sitting today. We have a 10-day investigative hearing that will be taking place every day, it is not a joke.‘’
“The petitions we have already revolve around over 100 and something million dollars across board within the NNPC and its environs, on insurance related matters. And it’s not something we can sweep under the carpet, it’s not possible.
“Before my colleague will move the motion to define finally the way to go today, there are one or two things I want to mention before today’s meeting with NNPC and insurance companies and brokers. We sent in 211 documents requesting for one document or the other and we have reasons why we have requested for each of those documents.
“For instance, we requested for comprehensive and complete schedule of all insured assets of NNPC and JVs on class basis 2014 only till date. The reason is to compare insurance certificate risk with premium paid and find out where premium was paid for non-existent assets.