NAICOM Hands Over Operational Licenses to Five Insurance Firms

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Ebere Nwoji

The National Insurance Commission(NAICOM),yesterday handed over operational licenses to four new insurance Underwriting and one reinsurance firms.
The new companies are Heir General Insurance Limited, Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited; Heirs Life Assurance Limited; Enterprise Life Assurance Company Nigeria Limited and FBS Reinsurance Limited.

This brings to a total of 62 insurance underwriting and three reinsurance firms in the country.
For over a decade, the commission, which is the apex regulatory body for insurance sector had placed embargo on licensing of new insurance firms , insisting that interested investors should instead of applying for licenses to float new firms invest and inject funds into existing but financially weak firms.
Before now, there have been in the system 58 underwriting and two reinsurance companies.

But just last year, the commission, said there was need to license new firms and at the 2020 media retreat organised by the commission in Ijebuode, Ogun State, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, announced that he had handed over operational licenses to the five firms.

Addressing journalists at the retreat, Thomas, who was represented by Director, Corporate Communication Department, NAICOM, Mr. Rasaq Salami , said with the licensing, the five firms had received the commission’s authorisation to operate as legal entities in the Nigeria insurance mark
Barely three months back, NAICOM had in a public notice announced that it had received applications from the above companies for registration as insurance and reinsurance Companies to transact insurance businesses in Nigeria.

Part of the notice reads “National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has received applications from the under listed companies for registration as insurance and reinsurance companies to transact insurance and reinsurance business in Nigeria. In fulfillment of the statutory provisions of extant laws for the registration/licensing of insurance companies, the general public is hereby informed that the Commission has commenced the process of registering the companies”.

“Heir Insurance Limited (General), has picked, Olaniyi Stephen Onifade, as its Managing Director, Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited, picked, Akinjide Orimolade, as Managing Director; Heirs Life Assurance Limited, picked, Abah Okoriko and Enterprise Life Assurance Company Nigeria Limited, picked, Fumilayo Abimbola Omo as the Managing Directors.

FBS Reinsurance Limited is led by the former Commissioner of Insurance, Fola Daniel.
The statement said FBS, is bringing together professionals with proven experience from the brokerage and underwriting units of the industry including Bala ZakariyaU, the former Managing Director of Niger Insurance who currently plays in a support unit of the Nigerian aviation industry, Ahmed Olaniyi Salawu of the Standard Insurance Consultants, and Wole Oshin Bankole of the Custodian Investment Plc that has just taken a plunge into the property sector by taking a large chunk of the United Property Development Company, a subsidiary of the UACN Plc.

According to the statement,these crops of professionals represent those with firm beliefs that there is a big insurance potential in Nigeria and indeed, the African continent.

Others are Ebele Ofunneamaka Okeke, from Nnewi North, Anambra who rose to the position of the Head of Nigerian Civil Service before her retirement, and also, Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar, a lawyer, and an accomplished administrator and businessman with vast experience at the senior executive level in power and communication sectors.

“The reinsurance firm is required to pay the new N20 billion capitalisation stipulated by the commission under the reform exercise for it to start a business in the industry,” the statement read.