14 Sep

Daily Watch – FIRS booms in Q2, Insurance industry to become regional hub

  • The Federal Inland Revenue Service’s (FIRS) collection for the second quarter surged by a massive 57 percent to N1.19 trillion, compared with N757 billion in the first quarter of the year. This surge was aided by massive contribution from the banks. The outperformance, according to reports, stems from the collection of N502 billion in companies’ income tax in June, compa­­red with a monthly target of N81 billion. But analysts warn that there could be challenges in meeting future targets following regulatory headwinds and slowdown in the economy.
  • The NSIA is in early talks with the government for a pre-privatization investment in the Abuja Securities Commodities Exchange, which will bring the Exchange to an operational level, in exchange for shares before it is finally privatized. Although the government has scheduled the Exchange for privatization, the NSIA fears that selling the company at its present state would come at a huge loss. According to NSIA boss, Uche Orji, the Commodity Exchange is one agriculture sector investment that the NSIA is considering committing part of its $400 million infrastructure fund.
  • Nigeria’s insurance industry is been touted to become a regional insurance hub, if it can build up and gather enough momentum to fast track its growth. According to analysts, the industry’s growth rate can be improved upon, given the low penetration rate, and abundant opportunities in the life assurance business. Also, the regulator would have to continue supporting and directing it with the necessary reforms. While there is a growing demand for insurance products, enforcement of regulations and capital investments have been barriers to the success of the industry, but claims settlement reforms are going a long way in restoring public perception about the industry.