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NAICOM says CEO not arrested

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on Thursday, described as false, a report that its Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, was arrested on Wednesday.

Kari told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that he was never arrested by any security operatives.

He described reports on his alleged arrest as unfounded, saying that was on his duty post.

Also, in a statement in Lagos on Thursday, the commission’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr Rasaaq Salami, denied the alleged arrest.

Salami noted that Saharareporters reported that the Department of State Security (DSS) and police arrested Kari over allegations of fraud and financial mismanagement.

“I wish to state that Kari was at the senate on Nov. 23 to honour an invitation of the Senate Committee on Banking,

Insurance and Other Financial Institutions on the commission’s 2016 budget performance.

“He was never arrested by DSS.

“However, it is worthy to note that the commission’s workers’ union under the auspices of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service, Technical Recreational Services Employee (AUPCTRE) had earlier shut the commission’s business premises and prevented access into the building.

“DSS personnel attached to the commission, as a government organisation, waded in to maintain law and order, and also ensured that management staff left the premises without being attacked as the protest was getting violent,’’ Salami stated.

He said that the union switched off lights and Information Technology facilities in the premises.

“As a result, the DSS helped the commissioner to gain exit from the premises especially because he needed to attend a meeting with the senate committee,” he said.

“He was at the National Assembly for the meeting and was never arrested; the management will hold a meeting with the union to resolve issues.’’

He noted that the workers were protesting the transfer of some of them from Abuja to Lagos following the relocation of the Inspectorate Directorate from Abuja to the Lagos for effective supervision of the insurance industry.

“Some of the affected staff have been transferred back to Abuja on health ground and marriage.

“The directorate is saddled with the responsibility of conducting on-site inspection of insurance entities for the commission.

“It is imperative to note that over 90 per cent of insurance operators are headquartered in Lagos, the hub of commercial and economic activities in the country.

“Thus, this exercise will ensure prompt and regular inspection of these insurance firms – insurance companies and brokers.

According to Salami, insurance industry operators are expected to take advantage of this proximity to inspectors to enjoy quicker and efficient service delivery from the regulator.