Insurers zest slumps after extension of recapitalisation deadline – NAICOM


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Chuks Udo Okonta

The zest exhibited by insurance operators on the ongoing recapitalisation seem to have dropped since the announcement of the extension of deadline for the exercise, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has expressed.

The Acting Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, who expressed this recently at a forum in Lagos, noted that operators are no long moving with the zest he observed before the extension of the recapitalisation deadline was granted.

He implored insurance operators to take advantage of the extension to achieve their set targets, stressing that NAICOM would not be blamed if any company failed to meet the recapitalisation requirements when the curtain will be lowed on December 31, 2020.

“We have issued directives, we have done some clarification circulars, the deadline has been extended based on request of the industry and our analysis of what is required especially for those that will be reconsolidating.

“We have extended the deadline and believed people will take advantage of the extension, because the activities I saw before, seem to have slowed down since the extension of the recapitalisation deadline, I think we will have less blame to carry if by December 31, 2020 any company failed to recapitalised,” he said.

Thomas maintained that companies have submitted their recapitalisation plans which the commission had reviewed, adding that some of the companies are still talking to the commission, giving updates on what they are doing, a development he welcomed.

He said the commission is still engaging other regulators on additional palliatives, adding that the engagements have not been without some are difficulties.

The Director-General, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), whilst appreciating the industry regulator under the leadership of the Acting Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, for the extension, noted that in spite the extension operators are not relenting, as everyone is making effort to ensure the recapitalisation is a reality.

“There is no going back as the exercise is a need and a must. So, everybody is getting ready. I am so sure the extension will be for conclusion of mergers and those raising fresh funds,” she stated.

She said the commission had taken a bold step in the right direction by acceding to the request of Insurance Companies for extension of deadline for the exercise.

“The Association appreciates the Acting commissioner for Insurance, Olorundare Sunday Thomas and management of National Insurance Commission for acceding to our request.

“This singular move has no doubt portrayed the Commission as one with a listening ear. It has proven to be responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the insurance operators and shown that the interest of the market is uppermost in its considerations.” She enthused.

She noted that by the extension insurance companies now have ample time to comply with the directive instead of having to go into the exercise without adequate preparation and diligent execution. This will also be in support of a seamless reinsurance arrangement which is an annual arrangement. it would have been absurd to conclude the recapitalisation exercise by mid year as this might have caused a lot of disruptions.

“Now that the Commission has provided the needed impetus for members to go about the exercise, It is my appeal that member companies should give the exercise all the seriousness it deserves.

“We need to appreciate the Commission’s gesture by working hard to achieve the recapitalization threshold set for our various businesses. That way, we will encourage the Commission to churn out more market friendly policies.

“For our members, the onus is on them to take advantage of the new date as some of the initial challenges thrown up by the first date have been addressed with the extension granted. It is our hope that whatever recapitalisation option they have to take, the new timeline will give them ample opportunity to do so,” she said.

Mrs Ilori wished members success in their recapitalisation plans and pray for a hitch free exercise.

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