From Left: Vice Chairman, House Committee on Insurance & Actuarial matters, Ahmed Jaha; Chairman, Darlington Nwakocha and Acting Commissioner for insurance, Sunday Thomas at the retreat for Members of the Committee by NAICOM in Uyo Akwa Ibom State.
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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) indeed needs total support of the National Assembly to be able to tap the full potentials of the industry which will in turn increase contributions to the nation’s economy, the Acting Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, has said.
He stated this on Saturday at a retreat for members of the House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, stressing that the Commission had hitherto been hindered in its various efforts to implement provisions of the current insurance laws by a number of challenges which are not within its control. “We believe that going forward and in view of our renewed collaboration with the National Assembly, relevant security and sister agencies, enforcement of compliance with the laws will become much easier in no distant time,” he posited.
Participants at the event
Thomas said the insurance industry in 2019, had a provisional gross premium income of N490.99 billion; claims of N330.37 billion, premium retention of N376.07 billion and invested N1.13 trillion
According to him, there is no denying the fact that there are indeed some cases of delays in the payment of claims by some operators, the Commission, he said is however addressing such cases as soon as they are brought to its notice and that it is for this reason that the Commission has strengthened its Complaint Bureau Unit in order to effectively address consumers’ complaints within the shortest possible time.
He said the Commission has also as a matter of deliberate policy adjusted its strategy to focus more on developmental issues than compliance issues going forward in the overall interest of all stakeholders, stressing that the foundation to ensure successful implementation of its initiatives in this regards its being layed.
“In 2009, the Commission launched the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) project aimed at a comprehensive pursuit of development of the industry as well as ensuring full compliance with extant Laws in respect of compulsory insurances. The first phase of the project was successfully carried out in all the six geo-political zones in the country.
“The second phase of the MDRI project will soon be unveiled and it will mark out clear targets and tasks for all stakeholders in the industry. The Commission is committed to vigorously pursue the continued implementation of Compulsory Insurances to which collaboration and support from all stakeholders is key towards achieving the desired goal,” Thomas said.
He noted that as part of the Commission’s effort to develop the insurance market, it has commenced the process of attaining the full digitization of insurance business in Nigeria in order to keep tap with current realities.
He posited that there is no hiding the fact in saying that the industry is currently lagging behind other financial services sectors in this regards.
The Commission, he said is now more prepared to drive the information technology revolution in the sector starting with itself and that it is on this premise that NAICOM is working assiduously to see that all its operations are done online and real time by digitalising its processes and encouraging the industry to imbibe same adding that appropriate steps are being taking to launch the Commission’s portal which will go a long way in blocking leakages in the sector.