Another insurance firm blames COVID-19 for late filing of financial report

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Universal Insurance Plc said the audit process for its FY 2019 financial statement was truncated by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown that was implemented in a bid to contain the virus spread.

Apparently, the lockdown in Lagos State (which lasted for approximately two months) made it impossible for external auditors to collate all the documents needed to prepare the financial statement.

In view of this, therefore, the insurance firm sought and obtained the permission of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to extend the timeframe for the filing of the financial statement. A statement made available by the company disclosed that the permission was granted and that the financial report would be filed latest by June 29th, 2020.

“The company’s audit process for its financial year for the year ended 2019 was seriously hampered by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) with the attendant lockdown of Lagos State for a period spanning over two months which affected the physical collation of documentation necessary for the auditing by the company’s external auditors.

“It was on this basis that the request was made and extension graciously granted by The Exchange till 29 June 2020. The company is however optimistic of submitting the 2019 AFS on or before the date granted and regret any inconvenience this delay may cause our stakeholders,” some part of the company’s statement said.

It should be noted that this is not the first time Universal Insurance Plc is missing the deadline for filing its financial statement. In early March, the company announced that it had approached the NSE to request for a time extension for the filing of its 2018 financial report. As Nairametrics reported, the company had cited NAICOM’s directive on the adoption/implementation of the IFRS 9 on Financial Instruments and IFRS 4 on Insurance Contracts as a major reason for the delay.

According to the listing rules of the NSE, it is required of all quoted companies in the country to submit their full-yearvaudited financial statements latest by March 31st. However, not all the companies do this due to one challenge or the other. Insurance companies are specifically known to be chronic defaulters. Just yesterday, Lasaco Assurance Plc announced had also blamed COVID-19 for delaying its financial result.

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