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BPE denies receiving N27bn insurance deal for PHCN staff

by Business News Report

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said it did not initiate or receive N27 billion insurance deal for staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). According to a statement by Mr Alex Okoh, the Head, Public Communications, in Abuja on Wednesday, the acting Director-General, Dr Vincent Akpotaire, made the clarification.

He made the clarification during a follow-up meeting with members of the House of Representatives Investigative Panel on alleged insurance fraud in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Akpotaire added that the agency had no official knowledge of an investigation into the N27 billion PHCN insurance payments by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He also said that the request for payment of the insurance premium was submitted by the Ministry of Power to the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).

“The payment was approved by relevant organs and paid by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation in 2014. The BPE categorically stated that though the payment was considered a transaction related expense for staff of PHCN, it was not for staff or properties of the bureau.’’ Akpotaire also explained that there was no requirement that propelled the agency to liaise with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) in the appointment of underwriters and brokers.

”However, BPE as a matter of policy, ensures that all companies it shortlists have valid operating licences based on NAICOM’s releases and website.” Akpotaire also said that the agency evolved a system of retaining the lead brokers and underwriters over the years, to enjoy the 50 per cent Long Term Account Discount for long term relationships.

This, he said, helped the BPE to build its insurance history. The Ad-Hoc Investigative Committee Chairman, Mr. Adekunle Akinlade, said there was no requirement that propelled the bureau or any agency to liaise with NAICOM in the appointment of underwriters and brokers.

He, however, advised that going forward, the agency should liaise with NAICOM to verify the insurance companies it had selected to transact business with.

Akinlade said it was the intention of the House of Representatives to strengthen government institutions. He enjoined the BPE and government agencies to always ensure that new entrants into businesses in any sector were given equal opportunity to display their expertise and capabilities. Akinlade added that members would review the new submission and make appropriate recommendations to the House.


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