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Chuks Udo Okonta
Insurance firms that failed to submit their financial accounts on or before March 31 will be restricted from engaging on some activities, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has said.
The commission said it would also take action against officials accountable for financial reporting, as well as publicize the compliance status of Insurance Institutions on its website for public guidance.
NAICOM maintained that the decision to impose more sanctions on firms has become necessary as their default deprives the Commission, Policyholders, Insurance Intermediaries, Analysts and other Stakeholders of the relevant information about the performance and financial condition of the Companies, as well as the level of their compliance with relevant provisions of the law.
The insurance Act imposes a daily fine of N5,000 on firms that failed to meet the June 30 deadline for submission of accounts.
“The Commission is poised to implement relevant measures to discourage Companies from filing late Returns and sanction errant ones appropriately. Amongst others, this will include a detailed review of their accounting and financial reporting systems, restriction of certain activities until relevant Returns are filed, action against officials accountable for financial reporting, as well as publicizing the compliance status of Insurance Institutions on our website for public guidance,” it said.
NAICOM also urged Boards of Companies to take interest in the timely filing of returns which, incidentally, contain information they need to effectively perform their oversight function.
The commission maintained that the non-rendition of returns is therefore an indication of the failure of the Board.
It noted that to facilitate the timely rendition of returns, it will carry out a review of the current returns requirements and streamline them for more efficiency in preparation and submission. It added that the transition to electronic submission will commence this year, and asked Companies to send in their suggestions on areas for improvement not later than February 10, 2017.