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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) fight against unethical practices among insurance operators seems to be yielding results as some firms have resolved to hold their errant employees responsible for fees on infractions.
Investigations revealed that some firms in a bid to forestall penalties from the industry regulator, have mandated their employees to esteem ethical practice as they would be held responsible for fees accruing from their misdeeds and negligence.
A circular issued by one of the firm’s which was obtained by Inspen, stated that any employee whose actions or inactions attract fees from regulators would be responsible for payment of such fees.
The circular noted that aside paying the fees, the employee would also be sanctioned according to the firm’s operational rules.
It was also gathered that leaders of the trade groups in the industry are intensifying efforts in educating their members on the need to comply with regulatory rules to forestall penalties.
President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Kayode Okunoren, in a meeting with NAICOM recently said the council has commenced the process of re-educating members on the need to follow guidelines in a regulatory environment, stressing that this would help promote healthy business operations.
Investors who are also worried about the fees paid by operators are rooting for institutionalization of payment of fees by errant employees.
The investors under the umbrella of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) are pushing for the payment of fines imposed on insurance companies by the managements and boards of the errant firms.
The Coordinator of ISAN, Sir Sunny Nwosu, who disclosed this in an interview, said allowing companies management and board pay for fine, would help reduce infractions and keep executives on their toes.
He expressed misgivings on how shareholders are allowed to suffer for crimes they no nothing of, stressing that the huge amounts paid as fine would have accrued to shareholders as dividends.
Inspen also gathered that most underwriters have stopped taking businesses from brokers whose licences are undergoing renewal processes. The stoppage it was leant, was a measure adopted by the underwriters to forestall sanctions from NAICOM.