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Chuks Udo Okonta
Aggrieved staff of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) who embarked on strike over the relocation of the commission’s Inspectorate Department from Abuja Head Office to Lagos Control Centre, today resumed work in line with the directive given by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
The Ministry of Finance had yesterday, directed the staff to go back to work, even as the Federal Ministry of Labour declared affiliation of the staff union to Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) illegal.
Members of the Union, last week embarked on a strike over the relocation of the inspectorate department, a development, they considered an attempted to punished some of their members.
But the commission, maintained the step was taken to effectively monitor Insurance firms clustered in Lagos and to save cost.
Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) Eddie Efekoha, speaking at a press parley today in Lagos, lauded the step taken by the leadership of NAICOM in bringing the inspectorate department closer to underwriters.
According to him, the decision would really help reduce cost especially now that the economy is in recession and organisations looking for means to reduce their overheads.
He noted that the development would engender productivity and efficiency, stressing that the decision would impact the industry positively.
“I have not had any interaction with the leadership of NAICOM on this matter, whatever I say is based on what you have reported in your various media. I think that it does make sense, if over 95 per cent of the operators are based in Lagos, particularly those in the underwriting segment of the our industry, then, it does make sense to make sure that that those who have daily and regularly contact with them are just next door to them.
“What does that do for you, I think that I brings about productivity and efficiency. They are there, they do not need to catch any flight from Abuja to Lagos, especially this days that you have to spend the day trying to catch a flight to and going back and there are so much lost of man hour for an activity that would not last one hour, so, if we are all in Lagos, one hour will become one hour. I think overall, it would pay us all.
“On the strength of that, if you ask me, I would say, it is a good development that the Inspectorate Department is brought back. The headship of that department, would only need to fly to the headquarters for meetings. But the regular contact would be in the overall interest of the industry,”he said.