GOODWILL MESSAGE BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR INSURANCE/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NATIONAL INSURANCE COMMISSION (NAICOM) MR. THOMAS O. S. AT THE NCRIB 2020 CEOs’ RETREAT ON AUGUST 20TH, 2020.
It is my pleasure to congratulate the President and Chairman of the governing Council of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) and members of her team for putting this together notwithstanding the precarious prevailing global atmosphere. The will to hold this year’s CEOs’ Retreat and your ability to adapt to current realities in the wake of the Corona-Virus (Covid-19) is commendable. One of the most affected businesses are the service businesses requiring physical contact which our beloved profession falls within given that most often than not, product distribution require face to face contact for us to get the buy-in of our potential clients.
This year has no doubt been a very challenging one for our sector, individual households and the economy at large as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, to us in the insurance sector, what this situation has thrown up is that there must be a paradigm shift from our usual way of business practice. It is therefore imperative on us to embrace and align our businesses to the new world order if we must be seen to be relevant.
Ladies and gentlemen, your Regulator NAICOM is also adjusting to the challenges and/or opportunities which the pandemic has imposed on the socio-economic and business environment. Among the fall outs of Covid -19 are the following
✓ The Recapitalization Program was reviewed and extended in recognition of the current realities
✓ Automation of the Commission’s processes for prompt service delivery has been fast track
✓ The E-Portal for regulatory submission of various applications by operators and obtaining E-approvals is in the final stage
✓ The Framework for Digitalization of operations (such as IT Standards, Web Aggregators, Regulatory Sandbox, etc) of regulated entities are in progress
Suffice to say that the annual NCRIB retreat for CEOs has always been an avenue to interact and share ideas for the betterment of the insurance broking business in particular and the sector at large. It will delight you to know that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) will always take keen interest in the deliberations and subsequent outcomes from this annual gathering. Some of your past retreat have contributed to shaping certain regulations and policies of the Commission.
Your choice of the theme “X-Raying the Finance Act 2020” is apt and couldn’t have come at a better time than now when the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on the financial services sector.
The previous Tax Laws were quite stringent on insurance operators in a manner that:
1. Permitted double taxation by taxing investment income and policyholders’ funds
2. Allowed tax losses to be carried forward only for a maximum of 4 years of assessment contrary to what was obtainable in other businesses.
3. Taxdeductibleclaimsandotheroutgoingswerelimitedto25%oftotalpremium for general business, in contrast to what was obtainable in other businesses
4. Did not allow a full tax deduction on unexpired risk provision in relation to the financial year.
Ladies and gentlemen, my task today is to give a goodwill message and not to deliver a speech or make a presentation. I am very sure the erudite guest speakers assembled for this purpose will do justice to the theme for the benefit of all participants.
But before I leave you let me task you on business etiquette and ethics in all your professional dealings. Note that the unprofessional conduct of a few amongst you is posing great danger to our collective integrity as an industry. Over the years, a lot has been put into improving the fragile image and perception of insurance in this country. It is high time we all rise up to the menace of unethical business behaviour in our sector.
As the insurance industry positions itself for Post Covid-19 Era, the demands of the insuring public will require sound work ethics for us to optimize performance.
As intermediaries, business sincerity and customers’ satisfaction must be central to your core business principles.
The Commission has always and will at all-times extend her full support to all stakeholders in the industry in their drive for business growth and development. The Commission is open to new ideas and shall continue to introduce new reforms and initiatives in line with international best practices that will strengthen our institutions.
On a final note, let me once again thank you and all other insurance institutions for your respective donations in support of the Federal Government’s effort to tame the spread of the COVID19 pandemic. On behalf of the Federal Government and the Commission in particular, I sincerely appreciate your contributions to this noble course.
I wish you all a successful deliberation.
Thomas O. S.
Commissioner for Insurance/CEO