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Chuks Udo Okonta
The transition to electronic submission of accounts by insurance companies will commence this year, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has said.
The Commission noted that it is going to leverage information technology to improve effectiveness and reduce regulatory burden of manual operations on Insurance Institutions.
It noted that to achieve the initiative which is one of the nine priorities set for this year, it will establish a framework for Information technology supervision of insurance Institutions and promote arrangements for efficient and more cost effective applications in the Insurance Industry.
The commission which is worried about late submission of accounts by insurance firms, said a number of Companies submitted their statutory Returns for the year 2016 late, stressing that the delay in submission of accounts 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 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.
It 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, adding that the non-rendition of Returns is therefore an indication of the failure of the Board.
“In order to facilitate the timely rendition of Returns, the Commission will carry out a review of the current Returns requirements and streamline them for more efficiency in preparation and submission. The transition to electronic submission will commence this year,” it maintained.