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NAICOM wants to integrate all insurance transactions into an online portal, here’s why 

The acting Commissioner of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Sunday Thomas has announced the launch of a portal that will integrate all insurance transactions

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Sunday Thomas, Naicom

In line with the growing wave of digitalization, the acting Commissioner of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Sunday Thomas has announced the launch of a portal that will integrate all insurance transactions in the insurance industry into a single hub. This innovation is scheduled to go live next year.

The Details: Thomas who harped on the importance of technology in insurance said the essence of the new portal is to reposition the industry and bridge the gap between the business and the customers.

We must invest in technology in order to meet up with current phase of advancement and take our products to the doorsteps of consumers. The demand by consumers for ease of transacting business is becoming clearer and aggressive. How we respond to these demands will certainly determine our position in the financial market and longtime sustainability of our businesses.

If the industry is to effectively key into the financial inclusion target of the Federal Government, it, therefore, behoves them to reinvigorate and face the challenge of digitalizing their operations not only to build trust, confidence and reassurance of all stakeholders that the industry is ready to encore its peers, but to enhance penetration,” he said.

Timeline of the project: He gave a timeline of the process as next year while speaking at the 2019 Insurance Professional Forum organised by the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He assured members that the commission processes would have become fully automated and operational at the next edition of this event.

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Sunday, however, warned that failure to effectively integrate into the robust financial circle for insurance could spell doom for the industry. He added that inability to master Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud technologies (SMAC), would result in failure of meeting the customers’ demands in a post-digital world. Hence, he charged members to embrace newer methods of disruption or face extinction.

Insurance professionals need to be more alert and integrate SMAC as a baseline or core competency first before adopting newer technologies- the internet of things (IoT), telematics, “big data”, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), “chat-bots”, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and so on.

Choosing carefully the customized and on-demand customer experiences we intend to target is essential before we can work backwards to map out or develop a strategy on these three things which include how to get there, identifying what ecosystem partners we need and our position in that ecosystem. 

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“All of these simply mean, better decision making for all of us in the insurance industry. We all need to move beyond our comfort zone. This means moving beyond the current structures and culture we have in order to achieve our goals. All these been said, for this transformation to occur, strong leadership is required,” the acting commissioner urged.

[READ ALSO: Mr Bigg’s revamps operation, introduces contemporary restaurants]

This call-to-action is in tandem with the advice of the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in charge of Operations, Mr Ade Shonubi, who advised business owners to prepare for the present and future of digital business environment using big data and tech. He noted that any organization that failed to jump on this new pace of change would surely go out of business.

Reincarnated as a lover of stocks, Angel investors, seed funds, and anything aligned to tech or startups raising money, Joseph's work at Nairametrics involves following the money to wherever it leads. Before joining Nairametrics, he won an investigative journalism fellowship with ICIR, appeared in several national dallies, with hard-hitting opinions, features and investigative pieces. He has also engaged in content marketing and copywriting for a top e-commerce firm in Nigeria.

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HealthPlus crisis: Alta Semper directors reported to Police for trespassing

HealthPlus has made a formal complaint to the Police following its ensuing battle with Alta Semper.

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HealthPlus crisis: Alta Semper directors reported to Police for trespassing

Nigerian Pharmacy Chain, HealthPlus Ltd which is in a battle for control with private equity firm Alta Semper Capital took a new twist as Health plus reported Alta Semper directors to the police last week, as observed in a document seen by Nairametrics.

In a letter sent to the Assistant Inspector General of Police on the 25th of September, HealthPlus stated, “We had the presence of unknown persons around our head office locations.”

READ: FG apologizes, says Self-Certification directive is not for everyone

The locations stated were 4 HealthPlus branches in Lekki, Lagos.

HealthPlus stated further, “We are aware that there are unauthorized and illegal plans by certain persons to take over our company premises to steal sensitive company property and assets, and ultimately take over operations of the company”

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The 4 persons mentioned by HealthPlus are; Zachary Fond and Ivan Genadiev (both Alta Semper Directors), Ernest Eguasa, CFO of company and an unidentified middle-aged white man.

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data 

Niarametrics reported last week that HealthPlus Limited appointed Chidi Okoro as Chief Transformation Officer.

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However, the announcement set off a chain of allegations and counter-accusations, including online media mudslinging with both sides trying to court public sympathy for who is in control of the company.

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FG to revitalize rice farms in rice producing regions

The Minister stated that rice production is expected to increase as the government continues to revitalize rice farmers.

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The Federal Government has stated that Rice Farms in Anambra State and other regions will be revitalized to boost rice production, create jobs and also improve the living standard of the people in the State and the region.

This was disclosed by the Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, during the assessment of Federal Government Rice Farms/Mills in Omor and Umerum in Anambra State.

Given the importance of rice as a staple in Nigeria, the Minister stated that the Federal Government is taking steps to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production, and this is evident in the policies of the government in achieving food and nutrition security, import substitution and promotion of inclusive economic growth across all sectors of the economy.

READ: CBN says 22 banks to restructure over 35,000 loans due to COVID-19

Government Policy Interventions in Agriculture and Rural Development has helped to develop the rice sector, and these interventions include the provision of farm inputs such as agrochemicals, organic fertilizers, knapsack sprayers, planting & harvesting equipment such as reapers, mini combine harvesters, threshers at a subsidized rate in order to increase productivity.

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The Minister added that these policies have not only increased the quantity of rice produced annually but interventions through the provision of modern rice milling machines to small/medium scale processors, has also helped to improve the quality of Nigeria milled rice to international standard.

READ: New PIB amends royalties by oil firms as Sylva clarifies position on scrapping of NNPC

However, Nigeria’s rice consumption still holds higher than production, but government interventions through myriads of policies have increased rice production from 4.8 million metric tons of milled rice in 2015 to over 6 million metric tons by 2019 with a huge reduction in the nation’s deficit.  Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri explained that production is expected to increase as the government continues to revitalize rice farmers.

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Shehuri said that ”the Ministry has established 23 Paddy Aggregation Centers nationwide to aggregate and store paddy. The centres were given to members of the Paddy Dealers Association of Nigeria (PRIDAN) under the public-private partnership arrangement”.

READ: How to register for FG’s N75 billion MSME survival funds

In like manners, there will be the dissemination of modern rice production and processing technologies, through capacity building of farmers and processors directly and also in conjunction with the international donor agencies such as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), German International Cooperation (GIZ), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Competitive Africa Rice Initiative (CARI), AfricaRice.

He reiterated that the Ministry is currently responding to the challenges of food availability posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting smallholder farmers nationwide with various inputs including certified seeds of improved varieties of food crops such as rice, maize, sorghum, wheat, orange-flesh sweet potato, groundnut cowpea, soybean, yam, as well as cash crops like cashew, cocoa, sesame, oil palm, gum Arabic. Others include herbicides, pesticides and agricultural machinery such as rice reapers, transplanters, power tillers motorized sprayers and processing equipment.

These interventions are expected to alleviate the effect of the pandemic on farmers and ensure that they keep producing food for the country.

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Just in: FG declares Thursday October 1, public holiday

Thursday, October 1, has been declared a public holiday by FG

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The Federal Government has declared Thursday, October 1, 2020, as a public holiday to mark the country’s 60th Independence Anniversary.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated all Nigerians on the celebration of the country’s Diamond Jubilee while giving assurances of the government’s commitment to the socio-economic transformation of the country.

This disclosure was contained in a statement which was issued on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, and titled, ‘FG Declares Thursday, October 1, 2020, Public Holiday to Mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary’ and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah on behalf of the Federal Government.

According to the statement, the minister praised Nigerians for the feats in the economy, education, the creative sector, amongst others.

The statement also quoted Aregbesola as saying, “Though celebrating sixty years of independence really calls for pomp and pageantry, but with the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced all nations in the world to think and act cautiously, we cannot avoid the imperative of a low-keyed celebration at this time.”

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It added, “While wishing Nigerians a fruitful independence celebration, he reminded them of the fact that our founding fathers, in spite of the differences in faith, tribe and tongue came together for Nigeria’s independence.”

 

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