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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, has said the future of insurance is arguably the future of Nigeria.
He said this at an event organised by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) in partnership with College of Insurance and Financial Management (CIFM) for directors in insurance companies in Lagos.
He charged the directors to live above board, as the success or failure of the sector is in their hands as decision makers.
According to him, insurance practitioners manage an industry that helps others to survive, adding that the insurance industry needs to survive first in order to conveniently shoulder the responsibility of helping other businesses to survive.
On the issue of development of insurance in the country, Thomas urged the Directors to work closely with their management as a lot is expected from them at the top level.
He maintained that the Commission is working assiduously to open up the market particularly the retail end, conducting engagements with various agencies and state governments on the need to boost insurance culture across the country, stressing that however, the supply side which is the insurance companies must also be proactive with follow-ups in these places.
“If the industry is desirous of having significant impact on the nation’s GDP, it therefore must take retail business seriously. This has to start from the policy level and the directions clearly spelt out,” he submitted.
According to him, opening up of the retail space must be supported with massive awareness campaign about insurance products across the geo-political zones taking into consideration peculiarity of each of the regions.
Thomas noted that one issue that has been setting them industry on a reverse gear in its developmental efforts is the issue of claims settlement, adding that a few amongst the operators have been making the work a tedious one by not paying claims promptly.
“We should know as a fact that insurance business is about payment of genuine claims and anything short of that will continue to hurt insurance business in the country thereby giving the industry poor reputation, perception and image. I urge you to look at this issue at your level and deal with it decisively as it has continued to give the industry a bad name,” he said.