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NAICOM chairman’s director position in ADSA Insurance Brokers unsettles industry

NAICOM chairman’s director position in ADSA Insurance Brokers unsettles industry

The nation’s insurance industry players are upset with the appointment of Abubakar Sani, a director in ADSA Insurance Brokers Ltd as chairman of the board of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).

They operators believe that Abubakar Sani being a player in the position of director in an insurance company is not supposed to also be a regulator and supervisor in the position of chair of the board of the Commission.

According to them, this will be a breach of corporate governance, and an insider knowledge could favour his company where he has interest against other operators.

A chief executive officer of one of the brokerage firms who do not want his name mentioned said: “This will be an abuse of office when an active player is regulating other players. For me, there won’t be a level playing ground and should not be allowed, otherwise a bad precedence would have been set for the industry”

“I am sure the Federal Government did not know about this before making the appointment, except if this is another Abubakar Sani, the Broker said.

The industry players were further irked when recently NAICOM Board led by Abubakar Sani during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said non-performing companies will be eliminated.

The Governing Board in the meeting sought for the support of the Federal Government to effect a major restructuring of the insurance industry including the elimination of non-performing companies in the sector.

Sani specifically intimated the Minister of the Board’s plan to carry out specific exercises aimed at sanitizing the insurance industry in the country, stressing that enforcement of the code of ethics for companies in the sector is underway.

“We shall enforce the professional code of ethics among the insurance entities, and strengthen their corporate governance which the Board believes will sanitize the market.”

“The NAICOM Board, he said will in due course revisit the matter of recapitalization of the insurance industry and will clean up its act with the enforcement of code of ethics of insurance profession and practice, and code of good corporate governance in companies. The board is working to sanitize the market and will be taking out companies that are not measuring up to expectations, he said.

For some underwriters who spoke in anonymity, appointing an operators who has interest in the business to be a supervisor as well should not be a practice that would be allowed in the industry, stating it is against corporate governance principle anywhere.

Sani holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Actuarial Science, both from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), as well as Honorary Doctorate Degree in Management. He has vast experience in the insurance industry.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in April 2022 approved the appointment of the chairman and board members of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).

The appointment was because the incumbent board of the commission that was constituted for a four-year term with effect from March 8, 2018, had exhausted their tenure on March 7, 2022.

Those appointed are Abubakar Sani (chairman), Robert Ohuoba (member), Ijeoma Chinenye Ekeocha (member), and Muazu Barau (member).

Based on the terms of appointment of the chairman and members of the board of the commission as stipulated in Section 3(1) of the NAICOM Act 1997, they are expected to hold office for a period of four years.