Lagos — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and the Joint Ventures, JVs, are currently being investigated by the House of Representatives over alleged payment of $100 million premium for non-existent overseas assets, and implementation of insurance policies of other Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.
The probe is being conducted by Rep. Darlington Nwokocha-led House Committee on Insurance & Actuarial Matters.
It is going to be a 10-day investigative hearing/pre-forensic Audit meeting.
The Corporation is being accused of allegedly breaching insurance policy by insurance business practitioners, low retention capacity of dollar-denominated insurance business and the effect on the economy; and under-utilisation of capacity of insurance policy, the practice and effects of domiciling insurance ventures abroad.
Nwokocha stated that allegation on ground against the state-owned firm include issues and prospects of ineffective regulation of foreign placements of insurances; alleged loss of billions of naira by the nation through insurances of moribund assets, non-existent assets and high premium rates; alleged huge unsettled life insurance claims, poor handling of Group Life insurance schemes, its effects on the motivation and productivity of working class citizens and non-payment/un-allowed deductions on entitlements of the surviving families.
According to him, the Committee would send Forensic Auditors to NNPC and all the MDAs , including to insurance companies and brokers handling the portfolios after the pre-forensic meeting.
“I want to assert one thing before my colleague moves the motion. Let me talk to all of us, particularly those of us sitting today. We have a 10-day investigative hearing that will be taking place every day, it is not a joke,” he said.
“The petitions we have already revolve around over 100 and something million dollars across board within the NNPC and its environs, on insurance related matters. And it’s not something we can sweep under the carpet, it’s not possible.
“Before my colleague will move the motion to define finally the way to go today, there are one or two things I want to mention before today’s meeting with NNPC and insurance companies and brokers. We sent in 211 documents requesting for one document or the other and we have reasons why we have requested for each of those documents.
“For instance, we requested for comprehensive and complete schedule of all insured assets of NNPC and JVs on class basis 2014 only till date. The reason is to compare insurance certificate risk with premium paid and find out where premium was paid for non-existent assets.
“And we cannot do magic to get these information because already we have enough information from everywhere but we must compare what we have with you are bringing; what the insurance companies will bring, what the NNPC will bring, and what the larger society has brought, so that we give everybody fair hearing.
“And this is not something we are talking and some people are taking it so lightly that they are doing some other businesses here and there. We cannot tolerate that. When we invite you for any reason you are not here, we will compel you to come; we have the mechanism, we have the instrumentality to drive the process to make sure that you will come.
“That is why when the President of this country comes to present his budget, he comes, present it and he bows and he leaves. Because the two principal things that function in every economy is income and expenditure. So when you come for an income which we always encourage you to make sure that the income you get it quite enough, its not when you have spent it and we want to find out how you spent the money, you now begin to give us one reason or the other.
“It won’t work, we must summon you to come, definitely and we don’t want to get to that level,” Nwokocha said.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari who could not attend the investigative meeting was represented by the Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation, Umar Ajia.
The hearing was adjourned to 31st August, 2020.