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Compliance issues delay insurance companies’ AGM

By  Patience SAGHANA
Efforts to comply  with the new rules of the National Insurance Commission  have  delayed the  Annual General Meetings of insurance companies this year.

The commission in collaboration with the Nigerian Accounting Standard Board (NASB), recently insisted on a unified reporting standard for insurance companies which before now had four different accounting standards.

Based on the uniform reporting standard, insurance companies that hitherto present different reporting standard to the commission have not been able to have their accounts approved by NAICOM. It was gathered that the commission had earlier rejected the accounts presented earlier by some of insurance companies because they did not meet the uniform standard.

Insurance companies have up to June 30  of each year to submit their full year accounts to NAICOM
As at May 2010,  only four companies have had their accounts approved by the commission.

Mr Fola Daniel, Commissioner for insurance in an interview with Vanguard during the 37th African Insurance Organisation (AIO) in Banjul, Gambia  said that the new reporting standard should have been adopted 10 years back adding that  the commission wished to ensure that the nation’s insurance companies accounts are not only understood by investors but are credible and in unison with other African countries.

According to him, “We want to bring it to the standard of international respectability of one standard, one market”
Daniel said what the commission has done is to situate an audited account of a Nigerian company with that of Kenya and South Africa such that when you put a Nigerian company balance sheet with that of their counterparts in other jurisdictions it will be the same.

The Insurance commissioner said that it did not speak well of the country insurers when investors had to read different reporting standard from the same industry and above all found it difficult to analyse an underwriting company’s accounts.

“We have seen multinationals rejecting our proposals because they do not understand our reporting standard and I think its necessary we do ours in line with what is obtainable elsewhere”.


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