The FCT Administration has threatened to report some insurance firms involved in its Group Life Assurance Scheme to the anti-graft agencies for failing to settle indemnity claims to the several affected staff that are now deceased.
The FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye who made this threat while meeting with representatives of the nine insurance companies involved in the scheme in his office at Area 11, Garki I District, Abuja, described their attitude as callous and insensitive.
The Permanent Secretary lamented that these insurance firms that have refused to pay claims from 2007 to date are deliberately frustrating the implementation of this laudable policy.
His words: “We made this policy so that we can take care of those they left behind and if we could bring you in as our partners to implement this scheme and then you default in your own area, year after year, for us to be having unpaid claims from 2007 till date, is seriously unacceptable”.
“When I received brief on this issue I felt very unhappy. I felt very bad. If there is anything I don’t play with wherever I go, it is staff welfare, especially the welfare of those who are so unfortunate to depart from us”, he added.
Dr. Ajakaiye reiterated that if this is the only thing that he will achieve during his period as a Permanent Secretary in FCT, he would take it to the highest level because it is people’s money and the money must get to the individual families that are supposed to benefit from the money today to change their lives.
The Permanent Secretary therefore gave 30 days deadline to the firms to pay the deceased families or face the full wrath of the law because the era of impunity is gone forever.
Dr. Ajakaiye remarked that he would go to any length to ensure that these claims are paid; stressing, “the present crop of leadership in the FCTA places high premium on staff welfare and would not tolerate crass lawlessness and misdemeanor from any insurance company”.
“We won’t allow you to continue to do whatever you like with this money. This money is already with you and the Administration does not owe you. If this (payment) is not done within the stipulated period, we will write to Mr. President on this matter and be assured that the security agencies including the anti-graft bodies will treat this as economic sabotage,” he insisted.
The insurance claims which run into several hundreds of millions of Naira have been pending since 2007, a development that has kept the next of kin of the deceased in financial and emotional jeopardy even when the FCTA had long paid the insurance firms their deductible premiums.
Some of the companies involved in the FCT Group Life Assurance scheme include Leadway Assurance, Standard Alliance, Crystal Life, Capital Express, Zenith General Insurance, Intercontinental Life Assurance Company, Wapic Life Assurance, Oceanic Life, Lasco and Goldlink.