NAICOM probes forensic report on Goldlink Insurance



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Chuks Udo Okonta

The dust raised by the activities of past management of Goldlink Insurance Plc has continued to suffuse as the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has vowed to look into the findings made by the auditing firm engaged to examine the firm’s operations.

The Commissioner for Insurance Mohammed Kari, who dropped the hint, said the commission took the step to conclude the work started by the dissolved Interim board.

“The investigation reported at the company’s annual general meeting was a very good exercise, and they found issues that need to be handled further, if the board which spent all it time on investigation could not take the issues to the next level, then, it is for us as a regulator to look at another way of concluding the exercise, and we are looking at that possibility,” he said.

NAICOM on Thursday last week announced the dissolution of the Interim board of the underwriting firm and reconstituted a three man interim board management to oversee the affairs of the company.

NAICOM had on October 31, 2012, took over the management of Goldlink and also constituted a seven-man interim board of directors to oversee the affairs of the company for six months after the commission observed irregularities in the company’s 2011 financial account.

The interim board has James Olatunde Ayo, former Managing Director of Royal Exchange Assurance Plc as Chairman and Gbolahan Olutayo as the Managing Director.

The interim board was charged with the responsibility of carrying out full investigation of the financial reports and corporate governance failures observed in the course of reviewing the company’s financial statement for the year ending December 31, 2011.

The outcome of the investigations revealed various abnormalities identified in the 2011 financial statement were attempts to conceal the company’s true financial position.

According to the report, several irregularities were perpetuated by the former executives and staff of the company, particular, there was a complete breakdown of corporate governance typified by the former non-executive chairman’s permanent present in the office.

The report revealed that about 2.5 billion shares were inappropriately issued to selected shareholders without considerations into the company.

“To support the creation of these bubble shares, the Head Office Building and other assets were revalued and inflated by about N1.5 billion. The revaluation surplus was used in part to create these shares against sound accounting standards and principles. Currently, the interim management board has recovered 1.2 billion shares through voluntary surrender and about 134 million shares by way of forfeiture,” the report said.

It was also discovered that about 1.2 billion share unit have been disposed of by some of the beneficiaries, and efforts are in progress on how to recover the disposed shares and associated dividends of about N125 million.

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