From left:Commissioner for Insurance Mohammed Kari; Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosu and President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Funmi Babington-Ashaye at the event.
.To defray claims from firms’ statutory deposit
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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) says it is working on applying statutory deposits of insurance firms to defray unpaid claims and that it will discharge the chief executive of any company whose deposit is applied.
This Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari, disclosed this at the on going Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) 2017 Professional Forum in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He noted that the commission had received requests from claimants to apply companies statutory deposits to settle discharged claims, as stated in the law, stressing that the process has already commenced.
According to him, the commission has agreed as a punitive measure to also publicise any company whose deposit is applied, coupled with having the chief executive of such company discharged.
He said the commission has also beamed its light on intermediaries that hold back clients and companies money or collude to steal or corruptly operate, adding that such actions being criminal would be forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
Kari said NAICOM and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had recently agreed to established a joint task-force to among other things ensure corruption is weeded out of the insurance industry.
“We are however alarmed by the incessant complains of failure of insurance companies to settle genuine claims and discharge claims to policyholders. These sad failure include the companies inability or refusal to settle inter-company balances. These claims and balances have risen to an unacceptable level where again we are now required to withdraw the self-regulation option given operators to total enforcement of the law,” he said.
The Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosu, urged insurance operators to embark on massive sensitization and develop products tailored toward needs of the public. He also called on the operators to use their operations to create wealth and collaborate with the government on infrastructural development.
He told the operators to collaborate with higher institutions to boost insurance knowledge, stressing that the his administration would continue to provide conductive environment for business to thrive in the state.
From left: Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Assocition and Deputy President, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Eddie Efekoha; Commissioner for Insurance Mohammed Kari and Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosu at the event.
The Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, His Royal Highness, Oba (DR) Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, charged insurance operators to play according to stipulated rules, adding that insurers should not take up businesses and go about praying that claims should not come.
President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Funmi Babington-Ashaye, said the theme of this year’s Forum of Insurance Professionals, “SOLVENCY, STABILITY AND GROWTH-EXPLORING POSSIBILITIES,” was specially and carefully chosen to draw attention to some of the critical challenges currently facing the Industry so that, as a collective, the participants can evolve strategic solutions for the benefit of Industry.
“When the economy was growing at an impressive rate and prospering, all sectors, including the Insurance Industry, also flourished. Similarly, since the economy has been experiencing serious macroeconomic challenges which currently manifest in sharp drop in productive and economic activities, high unemployment and crime rates, delinquent credit facilities and failure of many businesses, the insurance business is inevitably affected. In fact, the need to meet insurance obligations have actually increased with these challenges,” she said.
She noted that although the nation has, happily, exited from recession , operators must acknowledge the fact that many businesses and individuals are still going through financial and economic crises caused largely by happenings in the local and global business environments, over which they and insurance practitioners have no control.
She stated that the challenges therefore raised the need for Insurance companies and practitioners to explore strategies that will ensure that their entities remain solvent and are able to weather the storm, irrespective of the dynamics of the business environment.
As an industry that indemnifies investors and risk takers, she said insurance underwriters must remain stable, strong, resilient and financially solvent enough to meet emerging obligations. How to achieve these goals in a sustainable way is part of the objectives of this year’s forum, she added.