Sunday Thomas has officially been appointed the new Acting Commissioner/Chief executive of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) by the Federal Government (FG) pending the appointment of a substantive head.
Following the expiration of the tenure of the Commissioner of Insurance, Mohammed Kari, he handed over to Thomas on July 30, after informing Mahmoud Dutse, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance.
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In a surprising twist, Thomas got his letter to act today, ahead of Kari whose return was expected following his recommendation by the immediate past Minister for Finance, Zainab Ahmed.
Under Kari’s leadership, Thomas was a Deputy Commissioner (technical) for the Insurance Commission.
He was re-appointed in April 2017 after having worked for 17 years at the Commission, and headed the inspectorate unit before his exit to take up appointment as the Director-General, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) on May 1, 2010.
Thomas worked in different insurance firms for more than a decade and rose to the position of an Assistant General Manager at AIICO Insurance Plc before he left in 1992.
His formal appointment as Acting Insurance Commissioner came after industry operators decided to zero in on the likely successor to Kari, who may still resurface at the Commission following the return of Zainab Ahmed to the cabinet.
Daggers are drawn on who to support for the position. Some candidates have thrown their weights behind Odunayo Banmeke, the General Manager, Insurance at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
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Other candidates mentioned are Thomas, the current Acting Insurance Commissioner and acting head for the regulatory body, Mohammed Hussein, the current managing director of Nicon Insurance, who has allegedly claimed to have gotten the nod the position, and Yemi Soladoye, managing director of Riskguard Africa Nigeria Limited.