Nigeria lacks actuaries required for IFRS – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has affirmed that there is a shortage of actuaries in Nigeria which the nation’s insurance industry need in view of the fact that insurers are now required to adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

The IMF therefore advised the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to consider using the Education Fund to develop university programmes to groom future actuarial professionals.

In its Detailed Assessment of Observance of Insurance Core Principles, the IMF stated that “There is a shortage of actuaries in Nigeria. NAICOM could consider using the Education Fund to develop university programmes to groom future actuarial professionals.”

Nigeria has five qualified actuaries including Ajibola Ogunshola of Ajibola Ogunshola & Co, Rotimi Okpaise, Managing Director, HR (Nigeria) Limited, Femi Oyetunji, Managing Director, Continental Reinsurance Plc, Sir Chike Oyeka of Chike Oyeka & Co and Kingsley Miller, an employee of Leadway Assurance Company Limited. It was learnt that Ogunshola is already in retirement.

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IMF, in the report, said “There are few professional qualified actuaries working in Nigeria. The use of actuarial valuation is not mandatory for non-life insurers and it is only required every three years for life insurers. The low demand for external actuaries is covered by one actuarial firm.

“The Actuarial society is affiliated to the International Actuarial Association (not a full member); however it has not been very active in promoting development of the profession and further education of the local actuaries and does not provide accreditation. Currently only five professionals working in Nigeria are fellows of foreign actuarial associations. The introduction of IFRS is creating demand for actuaries that currently the country cannot provide.”

An actuary is a business professional who deals with the financial impact of risk and uncertainty. Actuaries provide expert assessments of financial security systems, with a focus on their complexity, their mathematics, and their mechanisms.

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Actuaries evaluate, manage and advise on financial risks. They apply their knowledge of business and economics, together with their understanding of probability theory, statistics and investment theory, to provide strategic, commercial and financial advice. The core of actuarial work lies within pensions and insurance, where professionals are most likely to start off. Some actuaries may move on to investment banks at a later stage.

The profession has consistently ranked as one of the most desirable in various studies over the years. In 2006, a study by U.S. News & World Report included actuaries among the 25 Best Professions that it expects will be in great demand in the future.

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