By Rosemary Onuoha

THE Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, have made tax refunds in excess of N1 billion to insurance companies.  Chairman of Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, Mr. Eddie Efekoha disclosed this at a media parley in Lagos, adding that the refunded tax was erroneously collected from insurers after the industry’s recapitalization in 2007.   He said, “Following widespread complaints from operators that they are being over-taxed after the recapitalization exercise initiated by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) in 2007, the industry body made spirited representations to the appropriate authorities in the country for a refund. Due to these efforts, some member companies have duly received a tax refund of almost N1 billion.”

Efekoha said the refund notwithstanding, the NIA is still engaging the FIRS and the Federal Ministry of Finance to effectively redress the tax burden on the insurance industry to ensure sustainable growth of the sector.

He said, “Tax has been an issue in our industry but we continue to engage the FIRS and the Federal Ministry of Finance to work out an amicable solution to spur robust growth of our industry.” Giving account of his two-year chairmanship of the NIA, Efekoha said that the commencement of construction work on the NIA building is the high point of his stewardship.

He said, “I am delighted that the NIA building project has moved from discussion to actual construction. That development represents the high point of my chairmanship of the NIA.”

The NIA Chairman, who is also the Chief Executive of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, said the industry is currently expecting the harmonised 10-year transformation agenda (2017-2027) from NAICOM to spearhead long-term growth of the insurance sector in Nigeria, adding that the target of the ten year vision is to grow the insurance penetration from less than one percent to 2.1 percent.


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