While insurance operators are eagerly soliciting premium from the public in the midst of a struggling economy, Nigeria’s foremost insurance institute, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), is currently enmeshed in an alleged fraud involving nothing less than $130,000 (about N60 million) in the country’s currency.
Findings by New Telegraph ( a local tabloid) revealed that the amount was said to have been syphoned from the institute’s treasury over a period of time and was discovered after a year.
A source, who is privy to the malfeasance, said a former financial officer of the institute was alleged to be responsible for the act.
Expressing shock that no one had been probed, the source said the suspect couldn’t have done it alone, especially since the council members of the institute have failed to probe the development.
The source said: “Is it that they have not been organising annual general meetings? If they have, then what have they been telling stakeholders about their finances?
“I believe the person involved couldn’t have done it alone. I am sure some council members were involved, otherwise, why would they be covering for the individual?
“What I found out was that he didn’t do it once. He took the money over a period of time, and there is no way he would have done that without any council member knowing about it.”
About three years ago, the Institute embarked on a massive renovation of its headquarters located on Lagos Street in Ebute Metta, Lagos.
New Telegraph recalled that early in the year, the leadership of the institute, while shopping for N2 billion, appealed to insurance industry stakeholders to support its bid to erect a befitting structure that will serve as home for insurance professionals nationwide by contributing generously to ensure completion of its Victoria Island corporate office.
The Chairman of the Governing Council and President of the Institute, Sir Muftau Oyegunle, made the appeal in his New Year message.
While emphasising the need for a befitting structure for the institute, Sir Oyegunle said the commencement of construction work at the new office topped his priority list this year.
The edifice, conceptualised 33 years ago, is yet to see the light of the day as the over 5000 corporate and individual members are unwilling to contribute towards the project.
“As the umbrella body and unifying platform for all insurance professionals in the industry, it is only proper that the institute has a structure befitting of the status of the insurance industry and representative of the professionals that make it tick.
Therefore, we appeal to all concerned stakeholders to support the Institute in its bid to erect a befitting structure as a home for insurance professionals nationwide.
“The institute belongs to all of us, you and me, including other practitioners, who wear the toga of insurance professionals. It is my hope that as stakeholders, we will continue to lift the Institute higher by actively participating to make the institute’s programmes and activities in 2021 more successful than the previous year,” he said.
When contacted on the fraud allegation, the Public Relations Officer of the institute, Ms. Seun Adejumo, simply said: “I don’t have any information about that.”