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AfDB ranks 4th in global transparency

By Chris Ndibe

Publish What You Fund has ranked the African Development Bank (AfDB) fourth out of 47 global development institutions on its Aid Transparency Index.

The bank’s Communications and External Relations Department made this known in a statement on Wednesday.

The Index is the only independent measure of aid transparency among the World’s major development agencies.

It index places AfDB in the highest category of transparency along with other world class institutions such as World Bank, Asian Development Bank and UNDP.

The Chief Executive Officer of the fund, Gary Forster, according to the statement, congratulated the AfDB’s sovereign portfolio on achieving fourth place in the 2020 Aid Transparency Index.

Forster said the ranking is based on several criteria, including finance and budget, basic information data, organisational planning and performance.

“In the new index, which covers 2019 year, the AfDB scored 95.5 per cent on transparency which a significant improvement on its score for 2018.

“It is promising to see an increase in the quantity and timelines of aid data now being shared by a broad cross section of the world’s major aid agencies.

“As we work together to fill the gaps in the aid data landscape, we look forward to exploring how we can best meet the demand for data and data engagement” he said.

The AfDB’s Acting Senior Vice President, Swazi Tshabalala expressed joy over the achievement.

“It crowns this institution’s commitment to transparency at a time when it has never be so important.

“With such large volumes of funding now being assigned to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial for our citizens to know how much, where and when AfDB is investing in Africa’s development” he said.

Insurance firms pay N21bn claims

By Tanko Mohammed

Mutual Benefits Assurance and its subsidiary, Mutual Benefits Life Assurance, paid combined claims amounting to N21billion in 2019, a statement said on Monday.

The statement by the Insurance firm revealed that the company’s General Business paid N3.2 billion, while Life Business paid N17.8 billion.

A breakdown of the paid claims reveals that Maturity Claims account for the highest, at N8 billion, followed by Surrender Claims at N4.28 billion and Group Life Claims at N4.03 billion.

The company said that Partial withdrawal stood at N1.26 billion while Credit Life, Individual Death Claims and Annuity Claims accounted for N75.59 million, N105 million and N45.62 million respectively.

According to the firm, for the Non-Life Business, Gross Claims paid was N3.2 billion.

The company stated that Motor Claims, being the highest, was N1.22 billion, followed by Fire Claims at N859 million, Special Risks (Aviation/Oil & Gas) attracted N472.12 million Claims, and Marine Claims were N180.144 million.

The Insurance firm also announced a profit growth of 214 percent for the financial result for the year ended December 31, 2019.

Mutual Assurance said that its Profit After Income Tax grew to N3.61billion when compared to N1.15 billion recorded in 2018.

The company noted that its Gross Premium Written rose by 18 per cent from 15.84 billion in 2018 to N18.7 billion in 2019.

“Net Premium Income stood at N15.29 billion, representing a 13 per cent increase from N13.48 billion in 2018.”

The insurance firm revealed that it also recorded a growth in Underwriting Profit of 77 per cent which rose to N5.4billion from N3.1 billion recorded in 2018.

According to the firm, its net underwriting income increased by 13 per cent, from N13.96 billion in 2018 to 15.77 billion 2019.

The Insurance firm stated that its Shareholders’ Fund for the year under review stood at N13.43billion, which is a 50.33 per cent increase from the previous year which was N8.94 billion.

It said that its total assets grew by 14 per cent from N59.4 billion in 2018 to N67.8 billion in 2019.

Commenting, Mr Femi Asenuga, Managing Director, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, said that a twin approach of increased revenue drive and more robust underwriting process ensured an impressive 77 per cent increase in underwriting profit from N3.1b in 2018 to N5.4b in 2019.

On the company’s five-year strategy plan tagged: Project One Reloaded, Asenuga explained that the firm had made giant strides toward delivering more innovative and cutting-edge solutions to its teeming customers .

He said this would be done with the launch of an attractive, user-friendly website with e-commerce capabilities and a Mobile-Application.

D-8 hits $4tln GDP in 23 years

The Developing-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation (D-8) comprising of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey, has hit a combined $4 trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

D-8 establishment on the Istanbul Declaration at the Heads of State/Government summit, had since June 15, 1997, become an economic powerhouse with combined record of $110 billion intra trade.

The Secretary-General of D-8, Amb. Dato’ Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari, said on Sunday in Abuja on the side-lines of his official address to commemorate the 23rd anniversary since the establishment of the D-8.

According to him, D-8 seeks to improve member states’ position in global economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation at international level and improve standards of living.

Ku Shaari said: “23 years ago our Leaders came together to establish bold vision for the social and economic development of their countries and for navigating the difficulty of global interdependence.

“They established the D-8 for economic cooperation; a democratic framework for the eight most populous and dynamic developing economies that will help them thrive in all socioeconomic development.

“After 23 years, the D-8 has turned itself into an economic powerhouse of a combined GDP of $4 trillion and $110 billion intra trades, further extending and deepening cooperation in various sectoral tracks.

“During these 23 years, with ever-increasing cooperation and solidarity, member states have achieved many milestones in key priority areas.

“We have not only strengthened our partnership within but also established new avenues of cooperation with international organizations, chambers of commerce, business world and the private sector.”

He noted that despite the success and many milestones been recorded were not without major setbacks, saying “we are vigilant towards the health crisis and many economic challenges that it portends”.

He further expressed his firm belief that in a time of crisis, the D-8 would act as the veritable platform of support and play its part in uniting the member states.

“With our solidarity and cooperation, we will come out stronger, more resilient and more united once again,” he added.

He extolled the founding father of the D-8, late Necmettin Erbakan, for his lofty vision and also the member states for reaffirming their commitment to the organisation since past 23 years.

He revealed that the chairmanship of D-8 would be handed over to Bangladesh from Turkey at the 10th D-8 Summit, which would be held by Bangladesh.

He, however, urged member states of the organisation not to relent in their commitment to their cause for economic development and pray that they continue to reap the fruits of their endeavours.

By Tanko Mohammed