Senate summons insurance firms over no remittance of N17.4 billion pension fund

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

The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, informed 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.

“The bank certificate of balances, accounting statements, 3 years financial statements and policy files requested by the Federal Auditor were not handed over to PTAD at the time of consolidation.

“It is worthy to note that the amount stated N17.4 billion comprised of cash, securities and properties from the nine Insurance Underwriters as a result of the letter PTAD sent to them.

“These figures represent the claims by the underwriters with regards to their indebtedness.

“In order to ascertain the true position of legacy funds in the custody of Underwriters, the Directorate appointed a consultant in 2018 who carried out a forensic audit of 9 out of 12 of the insurance underwriters and produced final report on the recovery of the legacy funds and assets for PTAD.

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

The three insurance companies who are in court with PTAD are Standard Life Alliance Assurance, NICON Insurance and Niger Insurance.

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, 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 that returns on pension funds totalling N17.4 billion forwarded by the underwriters were not accompanied with necessary documents.

The submission of the documents will facilitate the perusal of their claims and reveal the fairness and transparent position as at the close of business before PTAD took over.

 

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