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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has debunked a report by an online medium that the Commissioner for Insurance Mohammed Kari was today arrested by the Police and officers of Department of State Service (DSS) over allegations of fraud and financial mismanagement.
A statement by the Head Corporate Affairs, NAICOM ‘Rasaaq ‘Salami, stated that contrary to the report by the online news channel, the commissioner, who was at the senate today to honour his earlier invitation from the Senate Committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions on the commission’s 2016 budget performance, was only been protected by the DSS from being lynched by aggrieved staff, who were protesting the relocation of the commission’s Inspectorate Directorate from Abuja to Lagos.
“It is worthy to note that this morning; the workers’ union shut the business premises of the commission and prevented access into the building. DSS attached to the Commission as a government organisation wade in to maintain law and order and also ensured that management left the premises without being attacked as the protest was getting violent.
“The union switched off the Information and Telecommunication facility and lights in the premises. As a result, the DSS help the commissioner to gain exit from the premises especially because he needed to attend a meeting with the Senate Committee on Finance and Insurance. He was at the National Assembly today for the meeting and was never arrested,” he said.
He noted that some of the staff that were transferred to Lagos who had health and marital challenges have been moved back to Abuja, stressing that management will tomorrow hold a meeting with the union to consider their grievances and resolve the issues.
Recall that NAICOM last month announced the relocation of its Inspectorate Directorate from the head office in Abuja to the Lagos Control office, which it said was for better service delivery to stakeholders.
It noted that the relocation is part of an ongoing restructuring exercise aimed at improving efficiency of the workforce and bringing the Commission closer to the regulated entities for effective insurance industry supervision.
For the records, the Directorate is saddled with the responsibility of conducting on-site inspection of insurance entities for the Commission. It is imperative to note that over 90 per cent of insurance operators are headquartered in Lagos being the hub of commercial and economic activities in the country. Thus, this exercise will ensure prompt and regular inspection of these insurance firms – Insurance Companies and Brokers.
It urged industry operators to take advantage of this proximity to the Inspectors to enjoy quicker and efficient service delivery