The House of Representatives today began an investigative hearing into $179 million premium allegedly paid by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Joint Ventures (JVs) for non-existing assets overseas as well as the implementation of insurance policies of other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The Will had reported that the Chairman, House Committee on Insurance & Actuarial Matters, Hon. Darlington Nwokocha explained that the exercise was necessitated by “alleged breaches on insurance business by industry practitioners; low retention capacity of dollar-denominated insurance business and the effect on Nigerian economy; and under-utilization of the capacity of Nigeria insurance policy, the practice and effects of domiciling insurance ventures abroad, issues and prospects of ineffective regulation of foreign placements of insurances; alleged loss of billions of naira by the nation through insurances of moribund assets, non-existent assets and high premium rates; alleged huge unsettled life insurance claims, poor handling of Group Life insurance schemes, its effects on the motivation and productivity of working class citizens and non-payment/un-allowed deductions on entitlements of the surviving families.
He explained that after the pre-forensic meeting, the Committee will deploy Forensic Auditors to all NNPC and all the MDAs as well as Insurance companies and Brokers handling the portfolios.
The Chairman, who underscored the importance and contribution of the insurance industry into the economies however observed that the story is different in Nigeria.
The Committee chairman says that the investigation is a result of petitions the Committee received which revolve around over 100 and something million dollars across board within the NNPC and its environs, on insurance related matters.
Speaking earlier, Chief Financial Officer of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Umar Ajia explained that the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr. Mele Kyari could not attend the investigative hearing because he needs to hold meeting with associations of oil workers, namely Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSN) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).
However, in his ruling, Hon. Nwokocha issued a 10-day ultimatum to the NNPC Group Managing Director to appear with relevant documents and take into cognizance all the inadequacies in the previous documents submitted to the Committee, adding that all the stakeholders are to re-appear before the Committee on the 31st August 2020 by 11 am.