By ROSEMARY ONUOHA
Only five insurance companies doing business in Nigeria have been able to successfully get the approval of the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, on their 2012 International Financial Reporting Standard, IFRS, compliant financial accounts, Financial Vanguard has learnt.
Although only 22 insurance companies out of 58 operating in the country have submitted their accounts to NAICOM thus far, only five have been approved while others are in various stages of reviews, one month into the second half of the year.
The five companies are Mansard Insurance Plc; ADIC Insurance Plc; Wapic Insurance Plc; Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc and Oasis Insurance Plc. Consequently, these companies can go ahead and have their annual general meetings.
FBN Life Assurance Ltd and Aiico Insurance Plc results were queried by NAICOM. The companies responded to the queries which are currently being reviewed by the regulator.
For Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc, the account was queried and NAICOM is awaiting the company’s response.
The regulator however is reviewing the accounts of UBA Metropolitan Life; Custodian & Allied Insurance; NEM Insurance; Crusader General Insurance Ltd; Crusader Life Insurance Ltd; Zenith General Insurance Ltd; as well as Zenith Life Insurance Ltd.
Other companies which accounts are also currently being reviewed by the regulator are
FIN Insurance Ltd; Standard Allied Life Assurance; Crystal Life Insurance; Sterling Assurance Nigeria Ltd; Leadway Assurance Company Ltd; Wapic Life Assurance Ltd; as well as Industrial & General Insurance Plc.
It will be recalled that sanction for operators that failed to meet the deadline for submission of results is daily payment of N5000 fines stipulated in the Insurance Act, 2003.
At a time when banks and Pension Fund Administrations (PFAs) have put the issue of complying with the IFRS behind them, underwriters said they are still making efforts to master the new reporting system and plead for more time to enable them understand the system.
The Managing Director of one of the firms that is yet to submit its account, said the firm and others are working hard to align their accounts with IFRS, adding that as a new reporting system they are faced with new challenges.
He noted that the three firms that have scaled the hurdles have long been experimenting on the new reporting system.
Director-General Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, Mr. Sunday Thomas, said the Association is worried over the inability of members to produce the required account.
He said, “Anything that is not going well should be a concern to us. The issue is not that the operators do not have the capacity to comply, but anything that is new requires some time. Our members have gone through a lot of capacity building in this area and efforts are being made to comply. I think we need to give them some time.
“I am aware that all our members are making efforts to comply. Note that the issue is not just having an account, but a case of ensuring that the account complies with the standard,” Thomas said.