Ghost workers: Reps move to recover over N200bn allegedly paid insurance premium in 5 years

The House of Representatives on Thursday vowed to ensure the recovery of over N200 billion allegedly paid by Head of Service of the Federation as a premium to different Insurance Companies between 2014 and 2019.

Chairman, House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial, Hon. Darlington Nwokocha who gave the assurance while giving update on the just-concluded investigative hearing into the Head of Service of the Federation (HOS) managed Group Life Insurance policy scheme, described the scheme as the “biggest scam in the Nigeria insurance industry” involving over 100 Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) and Military and Paramilitary agencies.

Some of the affected MDAs include Nigerian Military, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Police, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS), Federal Fire Service.

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Others are Federal Ministries of Defence, Communications and Digital Economy, Science and Technology, Police Affairs, Education, Health, Agriculture & Rural Development; Ministries of Petroleum Resources; Power, Works & Housing; Labour and Productivity; Federal Civil Service Commission; National Planning Commission; Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Office of the Head of Service, National Sports Commission (NSC); Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB); Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Petroleum Development Training Fund (PTDF), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), among others.

While expressing displeasure over the humongous amount of public fund sunk into the project without commensurate results, the lawmaker Nwokocha reiterated the resolve of the 9th Assembly towards protecting the interests of Nigerian workers by exposing the endemic corruption in the implementation of the scheme.

He explained that the “investigation is as a result of the petitions of over 2000 persons across Nigeria who felt that there were suspected breaches and infractions on insurance act provisions.

“We have been able to unravel certain facts, though the committee has not concluded its investigations, to the extent we have heard from the insurance companies that did business with the Head of Service of the Federation (HOS) and some other institutions of the government, it is becoming very clear that the laws guiding insurance practice in Nigeria are not being obeyed.

“And these are the laws that guide for proper operations in the industry and in the wisdom of the House, they have directed the Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters to look into these issues to assuage the feelings of these petitioners,” Hon. Nwokocha noted.

According to him, prior to the commencement of the investigative hearing, the House received about 2,000 petitions from members of the public on the perennial infractions and non-compliance with extant laws governing the implementation of the Life Insurance Policy by the Head of Service of the Federation, during the period under review.

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The lawmaker maintained that the unwholesome racketeering in the Head of Service of the Federation’s Group Life Insurance scheme exposed Nigerian public servants to unnecessary uncertainties, adding that the development has jeopardized the livelihood of millions of Military and paramilitary who ought to benefit from the scheme.

“Because these are the things that have shown that there is a very direct influence of Insurance on Insecurity in the Country. For instance, when the security personnel are aware that they are properly insured they will take their jobs serious and go all out to defend the people of Nigeria knowing full well that whatever happens at the end of the day, their family will be protected and compensated and that is not the case in this situation right now,” Nwokocha said.

Some of the Insurance companies engaged for the implementation of the Group Life Insurance Scheme are WAPPIC Insurance, FBN Life Insurance, AXA Mansard, Old Mutual, Mutual Benefit, LASACO Insurance, Royal Exchange Insurance, Allianz Insurance, Metropolitan Life Insurance, ARM Insurance, Zenith Life Insurance, Good Link Insurance, Great Nigeria Insurance, among others.

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