CIIN President Urges FG to Prioritise Service Sector Devt

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Stories by Ebere Nwoji

The federal government has been advised to pay more attention to the development of the service sub-sector of the economy in its on going effort to grow the economy. The President and Chairman in council of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Mrs. Funmi Babington Ashaye, who stated this at the recent International Exchange Programme organised by the institute in Hong Kong, said this is capable of sustaining the economy even without other natural resources.

She said that Nigerian delegates at the programme discovered that Hong Kong paid attention to its services sector and so earns its major contribution to GDP from it.

Babinhgton-Ashaye, who was the leader of Nigerian delegation to the conference said the choice of Hong Kong for the exchange programme was informed by a number of factors.

“Hong Kong is one of the greatest and biggest financial and trade hubs in Asia. It’s accomplishments in all spheres of human endeavour as islands clearly belie its small size. As one of the world’s leading knowledge centres, the achievements of Hong Kong in global commerce and international trade is at variance not only with its size but also provide a framework for learning and development.”

She said with the most efficient and busiest maritime container port in the world, it is on record that Hong Kong dispatches one container every 4 minutes to other parts of the globe. “In 2017, its per capita income reached $46,228.13 while its 2018, ranking on the global Ease of Doing Business is 5th”.

She added: “Besides these performance statistics, it was estimated that services, which include insurance and reinsurance services, contributed 91 percent of its GDP in 2016.The implication of the dominance of the service sector cannot be lost on us: nations can develop without natural resources.”
She said the prosperity of the Hong Kong island was based on knowledge, its human capital, adding, “as such, there is a lot to learn from players in the country’s environment so that Nigeria, can positively impact its various business organisations”.

Advising Nigerian business operators at the forum, Babington- Asshaye stated: “As we strategically plan to grow our businesses, we must take our bearing from the market place. Users of our services must define what we do. We must connect with and respond promptly to their needs efficiently and effectively. Our business model must be in tune with clients’ demands and the realities of our environment. If we choose to diversify, it should be into areas of shared services which can reduce operational cost and enhance efficiency and profitability”.

RSA: PenCom to Stop Non- compliant Media Houses from MDAs Advert Placements

The National Pension Commission (PenCom), has said that it will soon bar media houses that do not regularly credit their employees’ Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) with pension contributions from advert placements from federal government ministries, agencies and departments. This is as the commission said it has issued compliance certificates to 27,021 firms that had complied with the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 between 2012 to date.

The agency, in January issued compliance certificates to 83 firms that met its requirements in this regard and had in the first quarter this year issued 6492 certificates.

PenCom, said in a recent workshop organised for journalists in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, that it will no longer tolerate organisations which vehemently refuse to comply with the PRA Act 2004 amended in 2014, especially as it concerns remittances of workers’ Contributed funds.

It noted that media organisations are among the sub-sectors that fail to regularly remit workers’ contributions as well as their own contributions to the employees’ RSAs.

Insisting that nobody or organisation should place himself above the law of the land, the commission, said it will extend its strategy of requiring organisations bidding for federal government contracts to present their compliance certificate to media houses in the placement of advertisements by federal government agencies, ministries and parastatals.

The PRA 2004 amended in 2014 requires each employee to contribute 8 percent of his salary to its RSA opened with Pension Fund Administrator of his or her choice while the employer contributes 10per cent to the same account.
The Pension Reform Act 2014 requires that employers who wish to solicit for federal government contract or who wish to do business with any federal government Ministry, Department or Agency (MDAs) must provide proof of compliance with PRA 2014 in respect of remittance of deducted pension funds to workers’ RSA.

Sovereign Trust Insurance Announces N5.2bn Premium in Q1

Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc said it started the 2018 financial year on a very good note with a gross written premium of N5.2billion as against the N4.1billion that was written in the same period in 2017.
This represents an increase in growth rate of 25.7 percent. Also, the gross premium income grew by 30 percent from N3.8b that was generated in the first quarter of 2017 to N4.9b in the first quarter of 2018.

According to the company, another positive highlight of its 2018 first quarter performance was in its underwriting profit which increased by N182m from N746m in the first quarter of 2017 to N928m in the same corresponding period representing a growth rate of 24.5 percent.

It said profit before tax showed 28 percent increase as it grew from N488million in the first quarter of 2017 to N625million in the same period of 2018 while profit after tax also leapt from N437million in Q1 2017 to N560million in the first quarter of 2018, representing a growth rate of 28 percent.

Linkage Assurance Grows Profit By 431%

Linkage Assurance Plc, said it recorded 431 percent growth in profit after tax (PAT) for the financial year ended December 31st, 2017.
This indicates a geometric increase in the company’s profit from N544.6 million in 2016 financial year to N2.891 billion in the review period.
The company’s profit before tax (PBT) also appreciated by 218percent, from N942.65 million in 2016 to N2.996 billion at the end of 2017.

Linkage Assurance, also said it boosted its bottom-line from investment income, which grew significantly by 260 percent, from N951.349 million in 2016 to N3.426 billion in the review year. This according to the company, came from the 2015 and 2016 dividend income from Stanbic IBTC Pension Limited which was received during the year and that led to a significant growth of 2,616 percent in the dividend income to N3.2 billion from N116million in 2016.

In its full year financial result submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Linkage Assurance Plc achieved gross premium written of N4.102 billion as against N4.032 billion, indicating a 2 percent increase, while the gross premium income grew by 6 percent to close at N4.186 billion at the end of 2017, as against N3.966 billion the previous year.

The firm, during the year under review, paid out claims amounting to N1.038 billion, as against 613.196 million in 2016.
This therefore impacted on underwriting profit, which dropped 53 percent to close at N456.86 million, as against N980.79 million in 2017.
The company, also grew its total assets to N23.308 billion at the end of 2017, moving up by 15 percent from N20.331 billion in the previous year.

Management of the company led by Dr. Pius Apere, said it will continue to refine its strategy in line with the political, economic, sociological and technological changes in the industry.
“Also we will continue to develop innovative products, alternative channels of distributions and strategic initiatives that will enable us achieve our corporate goals and objectives. With a medium-to-long term perspective, we believe that we will benefit from growth in these initiatives.”

He said during the 2017 financial year, Linkage developed array of retail products targeted at deepening penetration and increase revenue. These include the Linkage Third Party Plus, which is a budget friendly motor insurance that provides not only the compulsory Third party protection but an additional Own damage protection to the tune of N250,000, and is only available in the company”.

Other products launched by the Company are the Linkage SME Comprehensive, Citadel Shield (which provides compensation as a result of injuries from accident for pupils and students in recognised academic establishments); Linkage Events Xclusive Insurance, Linkage Shop Insurance, Purple Motor Plan (comprehensive motor cover exclusively for women), and the Linkage Estate Insurance.

“We have already deployed our online portal to make our products and services available to our customers especially the digital savvy customers and enterprises.
The Company also said it will consolidate on new initiatives to improve operational efficiency so as to reduce the cost of doing business, improve business processes, eliminate wastages and achieve higher margins in her core business.