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House of Reps directs NAICOM to suspend recapitalisation of insurance firms

NAICOM has come under intense pressure from the House of Reps to suspend the planned recapitalization of insurance firms.

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The House of Representatives has passed a resolution directing the National Insurance Commission (NIACOM) to suspend the planned December 31, 2020 mandatory deadline for the first phase of 50%– 60% of the minimum paid-up share capital for insurance and reinsurance companies.

The Bill, sponsors and timeline

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance titled: “Need To Suspend The Proposed Recapitalisation Of Insurance Companies, Insurance Intermediaries And Other Players in the Insurance Sector, especially in View of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Economic Recession,” duly sponsored by Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu and 15 other lawmakers.

With the adoption of the motion for the suspension of the recapitalization process, Ahmed Idris Wase, the Deputy Speaker, who presided over the plenary session referred it to the House Committee on Insurance.

According to the House, the suspension is expected to last for six months from January – June 2021 and is necessary to give the insurance operators soft landing, as well as cushion the effects of Covid-19 and other unforeseen circumstances they might have suffered.

What they are saying

According to Hon. Kalu, “In times as this, the best move by the government and by regulators is to push more liquidity into the economy in a bid to stimulate economic activities, encourage spending and prevent job losses as well as support the indigenous businesses in the country.

“This is pertinent because in addition to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry was also affected by the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest in which several insured properties were affected and to this effect, most of these insurance companies have lots of liabilities to settle in order to fulfil their obligations so as not to deny the rights of these affected insured persons

These are the types of fiscal, monetary and regulatory approaches that are being adopted in most countries. Hence, it may not be suitable at this time for NAICOM to even proceed with its planned phased recapitalization programme because of the overall impact it may have on the already fragile economy and the insurance sector.”

Why this matters

  • NAICOM introduced two-phased recapitalization programmes, wherein, 50% of the minimum paid-up share capital for insurance companies must be met by 31 December 2020 and 60% for reinsurance companies must be met on the same date.
  • Total compliance with the total minimum capital requirement must be achieved on or before 30 September 2021.
  • With the Covid-19 pandemic and the #EndSARS protests which crumbled the Nigerian economy, a lot of insurance companies are yet to commence full businesses activities and thus compelling them to meet these requirements would definitely put them out of business and throw a number of people out of jobs.
  • Related to the #Endsars protests, some of the insurers have lots of liabilities to settle in order to fulfil their obligations to the affected insured persons, with huge impacts on their liquidity.
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US Ambassador opens centre in Lagos, to boost entrepreneurial skills among Nigerian youth

US Ambassador to Nigeria has launched a centre where youths can gain entrepreneurship skills through programs and workshops.

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The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, opened the first-of-its-kind Window on America in Nigeria on Monday.

The Centre is expected to serve as a community center where young people develop their ideas, as well as their leadership and entrepreneurship skills through programs and workshops designed especially for them.

This was disclosed in a statement shared by Temitayo Famutimi, Information Specialist, Public Affairs Section (PAS), U.S. Consulate General and seen by Themoneymetrics.

According to the statement, the Centre, which was Hosted at the Lekki Slum2School Innovation Hub in Lagos, is as a result of a partnership between the US Consulate General, Lagos and Slum2School Africa, founded by Otto Orondaam, a 2016 alumnus of U.S. government’s Mandela Washington Fellowship.

The Ambassador noted that the new Window on America is open to everyone in the community, offering its services, programs and resources to the public at no cost.

She said, “We are happy to open the very first Window on America space in Nigeria here in Lekki.

“In the next few months, we will follow with six additional new Windows on America in the south and 12 across the country. We want our Windows on America to promote mutual understanding between the United States and the people of Nigeria.”

In addition to providing public programming space, the Lekki Window on America will support five core programs: English language learning, educational advising, alumni activities, cultural programs, and information about the U.S.

What you should know

  • Visitors to the window will typically include students, teachers, entrepreneurs, academics, journalists, civic organizations, government officials, and community leaders, in addition to many others.
  • Windows on America are American spaces that provide welcoming environments where visitors can learn about the United States, including its government, history, culture, and educational system through programs, lectures, books and electronic resources provided by the U.S. Government.
  • In addition to the Lekki Window on America, 12 more will be opened in major cities across the country, including Abeokuta, Awka, Benin City, Enugu, Osogbo, Uyo, Zaria, Minna, Dutse, Makurdi, Gombe and Lafia, in order to engage more Nigerian audiences in their local communities.
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VP Osinbajo calls for provision of capital to grow businesses for long term

The Vice President has stated that the banking sector plays a crucial role in promoting increased & inclusive growth in Nigeria.

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There is need to further deepen the provision of capital that will allow businesses to grow over the long term. This was disclosed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the Bankers Committee on Friday.

He commended the DMBs for their patriotic contributions to sustain growth but called for the need to further deepen the provision of capital that would allow businesses to grow over the long term.

“The banking sector plays a crucial role in promoting increased & inclusive growth in Nigeria. I commend #CBN for the forward-looking support for growth-related initiatives, especially under the economic sustainability plan,” he said.

What you should know

  • On Friday, VP Osinbajo had called for crypto regulation, knowing fully well the role crypto plays in the global financial ecosystem, as he opined that such disruption often made room for progress, according to Nairametrics.
  • Osinbajo also advised the SEC, and Central Bank of Nigeria to create a regulatory road map, while fully appreciating the stance of the CBN, Nigerian SEC, and law enforcement agencies on the possible abuses of crypto assets.
  • The vice president further stressed the important role cryptocurrencies would play in the coming years as they would most likely challenge traditional banking, including reserve banking, in ways the world hadn’t yet imagined. He thus stressed the need for Nigeria to be prepared for such a seismic shift.

 

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Sanwo-Olu says construction work on Fourth Mainland Bridge to start end of 2021

Governor Sanwo-Olu has disclosed that the foundation for the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge would be laid before the end of 2021.

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The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that the foundation for the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge would be laid before the end of the year 2021.

The execution of the bridge is geared towards improving the transport infrastructure and movement across the state.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by Sanwo-Olu during the 16th Executive/Legislative Parley, with the theme: ”A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos”, organised by the Office of Civic Engagement.

He pointed out that the promise to construct the Fourth Mainland Bridge is not a political one.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu during the interactive session said, ”We did not politically promise Fourth Mainland Bridge but we are going to do Fourth Mainland Bridge.

”With your prayers and by the grace of Almighty God, we shall turn the sod and lay the foundation for the building and construction of that Fourth Mainland Bridge before the end of this year.

”We are on course and I am sure that the 37km ring road is on track, which will change the face of transportation and movement in Lagos,” the governor said.

The governor also disclosed that his administration was on course to complete the Blue Line and Red Line rail projects which were started several years back, saying the project will be completed and trains will move on the two rail lines before the end of his administration.

He said, ”It is a commitment that we have given to Lagosians and it is a commitment that we will see will come to fruition because we have finished the financial closure and we are excited about that project.’

Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser, Office Of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, said that the executive and legislature would discuss extensively the theme of the retreat, “A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos”.

While saying that the discussion in the next 48 hours would help to fast track the rebuilding of the state, Adebowale said that they would delve deeply into issues such as Youth Leadership Role, Grassroots Development: a catalyst for growth, and Role of Social Media in Nation Building, among others.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Lagos State Government has shortlisted 6 companies for the design, development, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Fourth Mainland Bridge.
  • This followed the government’s issuance of a Request for Qualification (RFQ) in February this year. The 6 companies were said to have completed the technical and financial capacity requirements.
  • Lagos State said it will announce the selection of the next stage in due course, even as the RFQ will be given to the pre-qualified bidders.
  • The Fourth Mainland Bridge is a 37.4km freeway subdivided into three sections namely Island Section, Lagoon Section and Mainland Section. It will commence from Abraham Adesanya Roundabout in Lekki through Ajah and Langbasa areas, crossing the Ado Badore Road before arriving at the Lagoon shoreline.
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