Insurers Secure Tax Refund of N1bn from FG, States

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Ebere Nwoji

The Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) said it secured a tax refund of over N1 billion and realised a total of N500 million as contributions from all its members in 2017.
The immediate past Chairman of the association, Eddie Efekoha, disclosed the figures during his valedictory speech to the media.

Efekoha, who is the Managing Director of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc piloted the affairs of NIA for two years before handing over the baton of leadership of the association to Mr. Tope Smart of NEM Insurance Plc.

He said the funds realised from tax refunds and contributions from members, which amounted to N1.5 billion was being ploughed into the construction of NIA Towers.

According to Efekoha, construction has commenced for the seven storey new secretariat building and it will cost the association a total of N1.5 billion to complete in the next two years.
“We are delighted that the building construction has taken off. We will continue to work hard to make sure the building is completed in the next two years. I thank members for their support morally and financially in making the building Project realisable.”

He pointed out that the two years of his leadership with the theme “Sustainable “Market Development Through Stakeholders engagement”, were very productive, adding that four critical areas in line with the theme were significantly addressed.

According to him, the theme was strategically chosen to address the observed information gap that exists between the insurance profession/industry and the insuring public/other stakeholders.

Speaking on his administration’s achievements, Efekoha, said: “In the last two years we have been able to engage stakeholders constructively. We have productive relationships with the regulator, the National Insurance Commission and I will continue to appreciate the commissioner for insurance for his support in the past two years and for making my tenure more productive.
“We engaged the commission in the area of corporate governance issues and policy issues as it affects the industry.

“We also engaged the National Assembly as regard some bills being proposed by some members of the house. We were able to engage them by educating them on how the insurance industry works.”
He said his tenure was able to engage the Federal Ministry of Finance and Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to see how the tax regulation details can be worked out.

“We have equally reached some level of understanding with the leadership of FIRS to reduce the friction between them and some of our members. Our target is to seek amendment of the necessary tax laws to avoid multiple taxation which affects what accrues to our stakeholders. We need to tackle it to enable us to make profit and remain in business,” he stated.

On insurance rebranding project embarked by the industry, he assured stakeholders that the association was committed to the rebranding project.
He said: “We are on course. Most member companies are still contributing towards the rebranding project. NAICOM has already paid its own portion. The rebranding has commenced and am optimistic that this is just the beginning for the Industry.”

The former NIA chairman, also said the association, under his tenure engaged the services of KPMG to develop a 10-year agenda for rapid and sustainable development of the insurance industry in Nigeria in harmony with the various segments of the market.
He applauded members of the association, media and other stakeholders for the support given to his administration.