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Senate invites insurance firms over N17bn unremitted pension fund

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts Committee, on Monday, invited some insurance companies including NICON Insurance Plc, AIICO Insurance and others over alleged failure to remit N17.4 billion fund to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).

The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, had told the panel that PTAD took over the assets and liabilities of defunct pension offices without a formal handing over.

She said, “On taking over, the Directorate wrote all underwriters to make returns and remit whatever amount is in their custody into a CBN dedicated account. Some of the underwriters responded to the request while some did not.

“It is worthy to note that the amount stated, N17.4 billion, consisted of cash, securities and properties from the nine Insurance underwriters as a result of the letter PTAD sent to them. This figure represents the claims by the underwriters with regards to their indebtedness.”

She also said PTAD engaged a consultant in 2018 that audited nine of the 12 insurance firms on the agency’s assets with them.

“The insurance companies are presently disputing the report of the forensic audit and some of them are presently subjects of litigation.”

Standard Life Alliance Assurance, NICON Insurance and Niger Insurance sued the PTAD over the audit while others that are not in court with PTAD are AIICO Insurance, Custodian Life Assurance LTD, Nigerian Life & Provident Company LTD, Custodian Life Assurance, African Alliance, and LASSACO Assurance Plc.

They are all expected to appear before the Senate Committee, chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide, next week Thursday. The Auditor General of the Federation, in a 2016 report, had said returns on pension funds totalling N17.4bn forwarded by the underwriters were not accompanied with necessary documents.

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