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Senate summons NICON, Lasaco over N17.4bn pension fund

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts, yesterday, summoned NICON Insurance Plc, Lasaco Assurance    AIICO Insurance and others over failure to remit N17.4 billion pension fund to Pension Transactional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).


The Senate issued the summon based on the 2016 report of the Auditor-General, which revealed nonremittance.


The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, had informed the lawmakers that PTAD took over the assets and liabilities of the 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, three years finan-cial 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 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.


“In order to ascertain the true position of legacy funds in custody of underwriters, the directorate appointed a consultant in 2018, which carried out forensic audit of nine out 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 that 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 and African Alliance and Lasaco Assurance Plc.


They are all expected to appear before the committee next week Thursday based on the resolution of the committee chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide.


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