Dikko led NICON Insurance board formally takes over

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The Lamis Dikko led Board of the National Insurance Corporation of Nigeria (NICON Insurance) has formally taken over the reins of power, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) says.

The BPE stated this in a statement issued by Amina Othman, Head, Public Communications on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to the statement, the insurance company’s board held its maiden meeting at its head office on Monday in Abuja.

Addressing some of the management staff, Mr Lamis Dikko, the interim Board Chairman called for cooperation with the board to reposition the insurance company which he described as a national legacy.

He said the meeting was a prelude to a previous meeting of the board where far-reaching decisions, including the immediate termination of the appointments of the erstwhile Managing Director and Executive Directors of the company were taken.

Dikko said the mandate of the new board was to preserve NICON Insurance as a going concern until a new investor comes aboard as the previous owner had failed to sustain and maintain the organisation.

He said all staff that were desirous to stay back and work for the good of the organisation had nothing to fear but to support the new board to turn around the fortunes of the company.

Mr Alex Okoh, the Director-General of BPE, also a board member, lamented the decay at the place and said it was one of the few bad cases of privatisation in the country.

He expressed regret that the enterprise which was very viable before privatisation was grossly mismanaged.

He, however, appealed to the management and staff to collaborate and cooperate with the board on its rescue mission to bring NICON insurance to operational vibrancy and on a pedestal to divest again.

Earlier, the interim Managing Director, Mr John Oyidiih urged the workers to cooperate with the board and management to reclaim the lost glory of the company.

According to him, the company which is an institution cannot be allowed to go down.

He added that they did not need to hold an allegiance to any individual but the institution.

BPE recalled that NICON Insurance was privatised in 2005 with the core investor having 70 per cent shares with the Federal Government retaining 30 per cent.

“The Federal Government shares were later diluted but the fortunes of the company continued to decline with most of the assets used as collateral to collect loans from banks.

“This prompted the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to take over affairs of the company, a decision the core investor went to court to challenge.

“The court ruled in favour of AMCON but the investor went on an appeal which the court asked the parties to maintain the status quo leading to Monday’s take over by the new board’’.

The National Daily reports that BPE was created through the Public Enterprises (Privatisation and Commercialisation) Act 1999, to diversify the economy and strengthen the private sector as Nigeria’s engine of growth and economic driver.