The Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, has effectively taken over National Insurance Corporation of Nigeria, NICON Insurance.
NICON Insurance was privatised in 2005 with the core investor having 70 per cent shares, and the Federal Government retaining 30 per cent.
The Federal Government shares were later diluted but the fortunes of the company continued to decline, with the core investor allegedly using most of the assets as collateral to collect loans from banks.
This prompted 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 and the court asked the parties to maintain the status quo, which led to Monday’s take over by the new board.
The Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, said in a statement, yesterday, that a new board took over the company and pledged to turn around its fortunes.
Addressing a handful of NICON’s management staff, led by the Deputy General Manager, Corporate Advocacy, Mr. Kunle Adewale, the interim board chairman, Lamis Dikko, 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 last Friday’s 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 insurance company were taken.
Dikko said the mandate of the new Board was to preserve NICON Insurance as a going concern until a new investor came aboard as the previous owner had woefully 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 should support the new board to turn around the fortunes of the company.
Director General of BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, 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 regretted that the enterprise, which was a going concern before privatisation was grossly mismanaged, 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.
Also speaking, the interim Managing Director, Mr. John Oyidiih, charged the workers to cooperate with the Board and management to reclaim the lost glory of the insurance company “which is an institution and can’t be allowed to go down,” adding that “you do not need to hold an allegiance to any individual but the institution.”