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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has made an appealed to Kano State Government to partner insurance industry to bring all vehicles in the state under insurance cover, so as to boost its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and revenue of all stakeholders.
The Commissioner for Insurance Sunday Thomas, made the appeal today during a courtesy visit by NAICOM to Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
Thomas noted that one of the cardinal thrust that has been a forefront policy of the federal government is financial inclusion, which is assisting nano, micro, small and medium enterprises for a sustainable economic development and lifting families out of abject poverty.
A major aspect of this drive, he said is providing a safety net for the NMSMEs against unforeseen circumstances while securing millions of jobs and wealth created by the NMSMEs.
He posited that besides the need for the development and promotion of Takaful in Kano state, which indeed requires Governor’s support, the Commission was also in Kano to seek his buy-in on the implementation of compulsory insurances in Kano State and as well the need for the State Government to protect its assets and liabilities by adequately insuring them.
“Your Excellency, permit me to introduce you to some of the insurances made compulsory by extant laws in the country:
i. Motor Vehicles Third Party Insurance
ii. Professional Indemnity insurance for Health workers
iii. Public Building Liability Insurance
iv. Insurance of Building under Construction above 2 floors
v. Group Life insurance under the Pension Reform Act
vi. Annuity for retirees
“Your Excellency there is a lot to benefit from the partnership of the Kano State Government and the Commission with respect to these insurances, taking a cue from other states that have voluntarily taken steps to domesticate some of these laws in their states for the greater advantage of their states,” he said.
According to him, Kano is leading in many fronts in the country, stressing that in motor insurance for example, Kano and Lagos states alone have almost more than 50 per cent of vehicles plying the Nigerian roads and he is delighted to say that if the state Government can partner the insurance industry to bring all these vehicles under cover, it will significantly impact on the IGR of the state and boost revenue of all stakeholders.
“The issue of collapsed buildings have continued to be one of the problems in our big and major cities in the country that seems to have defied solutions and checks put in place by the authorities.
“The Commission is collaborating with some federal agencies like the Fire Service, Police etc and relevant professional associations like COREN to ensure provisions of the law regarding the insurance of public buildings against 3rd party liability and all buildings under construction that are above 2 floors are strictly adhered to. I humbly request Your Excellency’s cooperation to work closely with the insurance sector on this to ensure safety and protection of lives and properties in Kano State,” he said.
He noted that the National Insurance Commission is planning to organise a One-day sensitisation workshop for permanent secretaries and directors of all MDAs in the state in other to sensitise them on the need and benefit to adequately protect and insure strategic government assets and human resources. “Some of our experiences like the unfortunate incidents in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest are indeed eye opener for many and it is clear that insurance protection has become a necessity in our private and public business activities in order to have peace of mind,” he submitted.
The NAICOM boss maintained that adequate insurance cover for public properties would have saved the government unnecessary expenses in replacing or repairing some of the damages, adding that Commission shall continue to work hand in hand with relevant Kano State Agencies in pushing for more insurance uptake by Nigerians in order to minimize economic losses and use of public funds meant for development to compensate victims.
“Your Excellency, we shall be coming back to Kano by next month to hold the sensitisation workshop for your government functionaries and the public to educate them on the benefits inherent in the consumption of insurance products.
“As I said earlier, I want to use this opportunity to seek for the Kano State Government assistance in the implementation of compulsory insurances. The Commission is incepting talks with stakeholders to ensure that enforcement commence in earnest of all classes of compulsory insurances across the country.
“Your Excellency Sir the Commission is seeking your support in implementing initiatives of the Commission that will allow insurance to be a household need in Kano State. Your Excellency, we are requesting your support in the following areas among others:
i Constitute a committee that will work with the Commission
ii Consider mirroring the legislation that makes it mandatory for citizens to have compulsory insurances.
iii. Provide the Commission with a befitting office accomodation that will serve as the insurance policy hub for the Northern Region of the country,” he said
Thomas said the Commission was committed to continually ensure and guaranty adequate protection of policyholders, adding that this effort has been taken in many fronts such as ensuring that genuine claims are promptly paid by insurers, ensuring financial soundness and viability of the insurers to protect investments, right prizing of insurance products, value for money, use of technology for ease of transaction amongst other things.
The Governor commended the Commission on its effort to develop the insurance sector while urging the industry to do more in gaining public confidence and improving public perception of the industry. The Governor also granted the requests of the Commission and directed that a strong committee be constituted immediately to look at the aspect of the implementation of compulsory insurances as well as working with the legislative arm on domesticating the insurance laws in the State.