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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has shutdown its website to carry out routine maintenance, Inspen has learnt.
Visitors to the website for the past one week have not been able to access the site, a development that has denied them necessary information from the regulator.
An impeccable source told Inspenonline that the site was shutdown for upgrade and to bring it to current trend.
NAICOM, last year said it hopes to repackage the website to enhance interaction with the public, adding that the commissioner for Insurance Mohammed Kari has approved the review and redesign of the website.
It said it would commence the issuance of identification numbers to insurance policies and also launch its portal that would warehouse the industry’s data.
It noted that the system will reduce to the barest minimum the prevalence of improper records regarding policies issued, adding that with the system, it will be able to track the number of insurance policies issued by underwriters.
“This system is to build an integration point for the various stakeholders involved in insurance policy issuance. Generate and provide a unique identification number for every policy issued, in order to track and provide relevant statistics on them.
“It would help develop a capacity in NAICOM to record all policies issued by Nigerian insurance companies. Ensure proper accountability of all premium returns by insurance companies, capture all businesses done by every broker through the underwriter, ensure proper accountability of all insurance levies received from brokers, provide easy access to data regarding policies issued and support analysis and policy based decision making,” it said.
NAICOM said the portal provides a single point of access for all its services, validate the authenticity of insurance policies and accessible from any location within Nigeria, adding that the system should be able to interact or communicate with other systems/users such as FRSC, Police, and VIO.
“We want to identify each individual insurance policy issued in the country; this is why we are developing, what we called – Unique Policy Identifier (UPI). With it, each insurance policy document issue in the country will have a unique identification number. The Unique number will be used to identify that document.
“We are also developing a database of that identification number, so that anybody in the country can query the database to confirm if the policy document before him or her is genuine or not. We are hoping that in the next few years, we will get it out,” it added.
It noted that the initiative cuts across all insurance product lines, adding that all policies procured by the public must have this unique number, stressing that the concept is not a duplication of the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) being promoted by the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) and that it is collaborating with the NIA on the project.
“We would not allow a situation where a section of the industry has made a huge investment on a project; we come up with something to stop it. We would collaborate with them to solve the problem of fake insurance which is giving the industry a bad image,” it added.
It noted that the number will be issued from a central place, adding that it is moving to a situation where its information and telecommunications, will continue to interface with those of the operators. So, that as the operators issue policies, their systems interact with that of the commission seamlessly.
It said the commission is developing an information and technology policy for the industry that would put it and the operators on the page.
“That document would ensure that we have a minimum standard for everybody. In fact, the draft for the policy has been done, every soon, we would form industry committee that would look at that, harmonise it and take input to produce the final copy,” it said.