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AfCTA : Osinbajo urges AIO to develop home-grown insurance conglomerates



AfCTA : Osinbajo urges AIO to develop home-grown insurance conglomerates
AfCTA : Osinbajo urges AIO to develop home-grown insurance conglomerates

L-R: Wife of the new President of African Insurance Organisation (AIO), Dr. (Mrs) Tonia Smart, newly inaugurated president of AIO, Mr Tope Smart, Winner of the AIO hall of fame, Mr Hassan Mohammed and Chancellor of Swearing in and representative of the outgoing AIO President/Group Managing Director/CEO, Africa Re, Dr Corneille Karekezi at the gala night of the 2021 AIO Conference and General Assembly in Lagos.

… As Farmers to converge on Kano in November, over impact of AfCFTA on onion production***

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged Africa Insurance Organisation (AIO) to develop home-grown insurance conglomerates that will compete internationally and enable the continent to harness the opportunities in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).

Osinbajo gave the charge in a keynote address he delivered virtually at the Gala Night/Investiture of the 47th President of the AIO on Wednesday in Lagos.

He noted that growth in trade on the African continent would result in greater need for insurance.

“Insurance brokers in particular should expect boom, demand for trade facilitation will rise as companies that already have market value by collaboration will benefit more.

“AfCTA is not just about opening up the market for trading but about opening up for trade in services, in other words, countries will have to welcome service providers in their market,” he said.

The vice president advised insurance companies to take advantage of the AfCTA like their counterparts in the financial institutions, especially the banks, who were already setting up branches across Africa.

Osinbajo also urged the insurance organisations to prepare for the systematic nature of climate induced damage and transition to a low carbon nature.

According to the vice president, climate change will present an opportunity for the insurance industry to assist regulators and our economy with developing risk mitigation strategies.

“The theme of the conference: `Rebuilding Africa’s Economy: An Insurance Perspective`, is very important as Africa prepares for the monumental challenges and great opportunities that lie ahead in the next decade or so.

Also read: AfCFTA: Osinbajo highlights policy actions to drive Africa’s industrialisation

“This will significantly define what Africa will look alike in the next decade which is an indication of how dynamic the economic environment is today and how quickly things will change in few years,” he said.

According to Osinbajo, every smart government, state, company or civil society organisation must be thinking, planning and strategising for the new future.

In his acceptance speech, the new AIO President, Mr Tope  Smart, rolled out a five -point agenda that would guide his one-year administration.

Smart said his tenure would focus on increased awareness, adoption of digitalisation, collaboration with other markets, collaboration with government and regulators and building customers’ trust.

He noted that the insurance industry in Africa had underperformed compared to other sectors such as banking, telecommunication and promised to reverse the trend.

The AIO president expressed displeasure on the low performance of the African insurance market,  saying aside South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Egypt, Malawi, Zambia and Ghana, no other African country has been able to grow penetration to one per cent.

Smart called on all AIO members to work hard to ensure improved penetration in the market.

He said for the African insurance market to take its rightful place, the five-point agenda listed was critical to the growth of the market and must be taken seriously by all players.

Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive Officer of National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr Olorundare Sunday-Thomas, commended the outgoing President of the AIO, Mrs. Delphine Traore for her contributions to the growth of the African insurance market.

Thomas reminded the new AIO President of the tasks ahead of his team.

“I am confident that you are equal to the task and with you as the President of AIO, there is no doubt that Nigeria will reap the benefit of AIO in line with its strategic agenda,“ he said.

The commissioner urged the AIO president to collaborate with the governments of member-states and persuade them to play their roles well, especially in the promotion of healthy competition and industry-friendly regulations and policies.

The AIO Secretariat announced Kenya as the host of the 2022 AIO Conference and Annual General Assembly.

More than 600 local and foreign delegates attended the conference which held between Sept. 4 and Sept. 8, while other members participated virtually.

In the meantime, the National Onions Producers, Processors and Marketters Association of Nigeria (NOPPMAN) is to organise a Regional conference on the impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on onions in November.

Alhaji Aliyu Maitasamu, President of NOPPMAN, made this known when he led other members of the association on a visit to Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje in Kano,

Maitasamu the conference is a collaborative effort of the regional observatory for onion in West and Central Africa.

”The conference is aimed at looking at the impact of the AfCFTA on onion production.

” Nigeria’s Onion is one of the best in the world, because of its strong pungency and it is being exported to many countries like France, Japan, India, Niger Republic and Ghana, among others,” he said.

Maitasamu commended Ganduje for the laudable policies and programmes in agriculture in Kano State.

Responding, Ganduje assured NOPPMAN of government’s commitment to promote the value chain of Onion and other commodities.

”Since I assumed office, Kano State has supported all programmes initiated by the Federal Government led by President Muhammad Buhari on diversification of agriculture”.

The governor who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Nasiru Gawun said, onion was a perishable vegetable which must be exploited to boost the nation.

“In Kano, we have Onion markets due to the realisation of the importance of vegetables to the economy.

“Before now, our farmers suffered great post harvest losses, now with new innovations through technology, especially with storage method, that has become a thing of the past,” the governor said.

While assuring them of continued support, cooperation and collaboration, Ganduje further implored them to take advantage of the intervention programmes initiated by the Federal Government, so as to enhance onion’s production, storage.

Nigeria on July 7, 2019 signed the AfCFTA, an agreement which aims to increase trade between African countries.

President Buhari signed the landmark agreement at the African Union (AU) summit in Niger.

The AU says that the AfCFTA will also create the world’s largest free trade area.

It also estimates that implementing AfCFTA will lead to around a 60 per cent boost in intra-African trade by 2022.






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Onslaught: Troops Eliminate 105 Terrorists, Arrest 140 Others In 1 Week – DHQ



Exercise Enduring Peace recording successes in FCT – Army

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria operating in different theatres of operation eliminated 105 terrorists and apprehended 140 others in the last one week.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba said this at a bi-weekly news briefing on the operations of the armed forces on Thursday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also arrested 26 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 86 kidnapped hostages in the South-South region.

He added that the troops recovered 208 assorted weapons and 5,332 assorted ammunition comprising 95 AK47 rifles, one assault rifle, 39 locally fabricated guns, 34 Dane guns, 14 pump action guns, among others.

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised seven terrorists and arrested four terrorists as well as recovered 20 AK47 rifles, two fabricated guns and 12 dane guns.

He added that 353 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 209 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 34 live cartridges, 62 mobile phones and the sum of N100,000, among others, were also recovered.

According to him, 224 ISWAP/JAS terrorists fighters and their families comprising 23 adult males, 126 adult females and 87 children surrendered to troops in the Bama and Konduga areas of Borno within the week.

Army raid kidnappers, rescue C/River commissioner; Police neutralise 3 suspected gunmen, recover 50 arms

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirl Stroke neutralised 35 insurgents, arrested 65 violent extremists and 15 rescued kidnapped hostages.

He added that troops also recovered various caches of arms and ammunition within different theatres of operation.

In the North Central, the defence spokesman said the troops of Operations Hadarin Daji and Whirl Punch, neutralised 57 insurgents, arrested five and rescued 66 kidnapped hostages during the week.

In the South-South, Buba said the troops of Operation Delta Safe destroyed 18 illegal refining sites and recovered 657,300 litres of stolen crude oil, 23,750 litres of illegally refined AGO and 1,050 litres of DPK.

He added that the troops discovered and destroyed nine dugout pits, 19 boats and 21 storage tanks, 35 cooking ovens, nine vehicles, nine mobile phones, and three pump machines.

According to him, troops rescued three kidnapped hostages and apprehended 50 people suspected of oil theft and other violent extremists/insurgents as well as recovered 20 weapons and 243 ammunition, amongst other items.

In the South East, Buba said the troops of Operation UDO KA neutralised six insurgents, arrested five and recovered various types of arms and ammunition.

“All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authorities for further action,” he said.

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Food Prices: Tinubu Directs Immediate Release Of Grains, To Foreclose Crisis



A little respite in the nation’s food crisis is expected as President Bola Tinubu has directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to release about 42,000 metric tonnes of grain including maize, millet, and garri. The gesture is to douse hunger and prevent looming protests.

Some Nigerians however told the Maritime First that the directive was a lot coming late; and the metric tonnes being expected, too little, for over a hundred million people. Some cynics bluntly blame the President for his inability to tame insurgency and terrorism, which apriori, prevented the farmers from going to work.

ALSO READ:… Nigerians Now Eat Junks as High Food Prices Put Balanced Diet Out Of Reach- Survey

Some states have begun dress rehearsal for the real crisis protests, over galloping food prices. A bag of rice which sold for N62,000 Tuesday, last week in Bodija Market in Ibadan, emerged N69,000 Wednesday morning. less than 24 hours later, throwing calculation to the winds.

The Maritime First can freely indicate that widows, single mothers, and those from polygamous-induced large families are presently, not finding it too easy to cope.

In the meantime,, the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria has also committed to immediately release over 60,000 metric tonnes of rice to the public. The body however failed to indicate why they waited till the Presidential directive, before making their commitment.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this after the meeting of the Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention on Thursday in Abuja.

The Minister also failed to indicate measures to be adopted, to ensure that middlemen do not hijack and mess up Tinubu’s honest effort.

He said that these were immediate measures taken by the Federal Government to reduce the hardships faced by Nigerians who are made to bear the brunt of high prices of food in the market.

“These will be made available and we know that that is enough to take Nigeria in the next couple of weeks. One month, six weeks, perhaps up to two months.

“Now the whole idea of this is to crush the cost of these food items. And these are measures that will happen immediately.

“Now, the third item is that government is also looking at the possibility of, if it becomes absolutely necessary and as an interim measure, to also import some of these commodities immediately so that these commodities can be made available to Nigerians,” he said.

Idris also said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security would further invest massively in the farming process to boost production and ensure the country’s food potential is fully exploited.

He said that government would appeal to persons or groups to stop hoarding these products in order to maximise profit at the detriment of ordinary Nigerians.

“Government of course is also looking at all those who are hoarding these commodities because actually, these commodities are available in the stores of many traders.

“Government is appealing to them that they should open up these doors and make these commodities available in the interest of our nation.

“There is no point when the whole country is looking for this food you are locking up these products where you make more money and then Nigerians suffer. Of course, the government will not fold its arms.

“If they don’t respond by bringing these commodities to the market, the government will take appropriate measures to ensure that these products are made available to Nigerians.”

The Minister said that the government would also take measures to ensure that food continues to be accessible and affordable to Nigerians.

“We ask that Nigerians need to be more patriotic; be our brother’s keepers. Sell this thing, of course at a margin but at a margin that is not also killing to Nigerians.

“This is an emergency. Every nation faces emergency situations. This is our own time to face these challenges.

“The President has directed that whatever it will take, food will be available to Nigerians at a cost that is also very reasonable,” he said.

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President Tinubu Returns After Private Visit To France



President Bola Tinubu has returned to the country after a two-week private visit to France.

The President arrived in Abuja aboard the presidential flight at about 9:0 pm on Tuesday.

He was received by top government officials led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume.

The president left Abuja on Jan. 24 for his first break since assumption of office on May 29, 2023

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