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Chuks Udo Okonta
Very soon no staff of insurance company can operate without registering with the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigerian (CIIN), Inspen can report.
It was gathered that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has vowed to issue a guideline that will compel all staff of Insurance Institutions in Nigeria to register as members of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigerian (CIIIN).
President of CIIN, Mrs Funmi Babington-Ashaye, who disclosed this at a media parley in Lagos, said the Commissioner for Insurance Mohammed Kari, made the pledge when she led led a delegation of the CIIN to visit the Commissioner in Abuja.
“We are presently on a drive to achieve an additional 3,000 Members for the Institute within the next one year. Pursuant to this, I led a delegation of the CIIN to visit the Commissioner for Insurance in Abuja on the 12th of September, 2017. After our deliberations, the Commission graciously promised to issue a guideline that will compel all staff of Insurance Institutions in Nigeria to register as members of CIIN. This will go a long way in achieving our set goal,” she said.
The Commissioner had at different fora expressed his misgivings over the dearth of professionals in the industry. According to him, there is an urgent need for a reawakening to ensure professionals are continually trained, re-trained and equipped with prevailing skills and knowledge for optimal performance in line with international best practice.
“Only recently, I read the report of the Marine Insurance Committee of the Nigeria Insurance Association (NIA), the report claimed that Nigeria is being deprived of billions of Naira due to “dearth of professionals in marine insurance in the country and this has paved the way for unethical practices in this class of insurance business.” I am glad that this is coming from the NIA, the umbrella trade Association of the Underwriters. So, my question is: what is the NIA, either as a body or individual companies doing about this dearth of professionals not only in the marine sector but across all the classes of insurance?
“This fact was sadly confirmed by many of our well respected Chief Executives when we ruled that all Insurance companies must recruit at least one top professional as an Executive Director, their excuse for non-compliance was that we don’t have the right professionals to be EDs. Given that statement we concluded that some wants to continue to be sole administrators of their companies or if that assertion was true then we have too many operational license out there. Either way there is justification for further consolidation in the industry.
“There is an urgent need for a reawakening to ensure our professionals are continually trained, re-trained and equipped with prevailing skills and knowledge for optimal performance in line with international best practice. The Commission on its part would continue to support initiatives either from the institute or any of the trade Associations towards ensuring Insurance professionals are regularly updated to enable them align with current global trends.
“You can imagine our joy when the President’s plan included continuous training as one of the cardinal point of her agenda. We would work with the Institute and the College of Insurance to agree on the appropriate curriculum for such training and pass the necessary regulations to make it mandatory. Training for practitioners goes beyond attending some conference for MCPE points.
“I want to task the CIIN and indeed, every insurance professional to brace to the challenge to upscale our skills in all areas to safeguard the growth of the industry. In this regards, all hands must be on deck to rid the industry on quacks and unprofessional activities for the overall benefit of all,” he said.
He noted that the Commission would continue to provide the enabling and sane environment for insurance business to thrive in the country, adding that the various reforms and initiatives of the Commission all points towards ensuring the business environment is prepared and conducive for business.