Shareholders at annual general meeting
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Chuks Udo Okonta
Shareholders have expressed concerns over the intervention made by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) in UNIC Insurance Plc, stating that the regulator’s actions came a bit late as the firm is almost at the verge of collapse.
Managing Director Lancelot Ventures Limited, Adebayo Adeleke, who is also a prominent member of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said: “I think NAICOM should attend more to the sick, than calling in the undertakers.
“NAICOM should encourage mergers and acquisitions. It can midwife an arrangement like Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) did between Oceanic Bank and ECOBank.”
Shareholders Activist & Co-Founder, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, called on NAICOM to be proactive in executing its regulatory functions. According to him, some shareholders cannot even remember if they have shares in UNIC Insurance owing to the fact that the firm has failed over the years to give return on investment.
He noted that shareholders are presently not happy with many insurance companies due to their non performance, stressing that it is the duty of NAICOM as the industry regulator to help the firms perform according to stipulated rules.
“If NAICOM has being proactive like the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), they would not have waited for this long before intervening in UNIC Insurance. And most of the insurance companies would not have being behaving the way they behave. No investor is happy with insurance companies. For many years, we have not being getting reasonable return on investments, and the companies are living big, directors are taking their allowances and staff, their salaries. They have forgotten their investors.”
He noted that most insurance companies have been disappointments to investors, whilst calling on NAICOM to take urgent steps to save other ailing firms.
“To me NAICOM did not do anything, because they waited for too long, if they have come in before now, they would have made more impact on the firm. For them to really rejuvenate the firm, it will take a long time, whereas, if they have being proactive enough and come in on time, may be it would have ginger some other things to come up. They have allowed the company to almost die and now thinking of what to do with the corpse. They should not expect any accolade from investors.”