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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Association of Registered Insurance Agents of Nigeria (ARIAN) has written a letter to the Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) over the exclusion of agents in the proposed committee to review the insurance bill.
Its President Olamerun Gbadebo, told Inspen that the body took the step to register its position over the exclusion, adding that the association has a lot to contribute towards enhancing retail business which is considered the panacea to insurance growth.
He said the over reliance on corporate business in time past, stemmed the growth of the industry, stressing that the proposed bill should be used to change the way things are done, and that efforts should be geared towards full entrenchment of retail business which agents are the sole drivers.
Gbedebo noted that though the ministry and NAICOM are yet to reply, he is optimistic that agents will be giving their place in the committee.
The Federal Government has constituted a ten-member committee to review the Insurance (Consolidated) Bill, a move that seeks to make the bill conform with the ideals of contemporary insurance practice and also ensures an efficient insurance industry in the country.
The impending review is expected to form the basis for a new draft bill, which will be sent to the National Assembly for consideration.
Minister of Finance said the review committee with members drawn from the public and private sectors, was to submit its report within three months.
The Review Committee, which is yet to be inaugurated, is chaired by Dr. Omogbai- Omo Eboh, a renowned expert in Insurance Law, while Dr. Talmiz Usman (Head of Legal Department, NAICOM is the Secretary.
Other members of the committee include a representative of the Ministry of Finance; a representative of the National Insurance Commission; a representative of Nigeria Insurers’ Association (NIA), and a representative of Nigeria Council of Registered Insurance Brokers.
Members of the committee also include a representative of the Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria; a representative of the Attorney General of the Federation; Kamar Raji and Dr. Ladi Hamalai of the National Institute of Legal Studies.
The minister said the activities of the Review Committee would be fully funded by the National Insurance Commission, which is the statutory agency of the federal government established to regulate and supervise the Nigerian insurance sector.
According to the minister, the terms of reference of the review committee include a critical review of the draft Insurance (Consolidated) Bill, with a view to making it a framework or principle-based legislation; a comparative review of the bill to align it with the powers of other financial regulators in the country as well as a thorough examination of current market problems and recommendation of appropriate regulatory powers to allow the insurance regulator act appropriately.
The review committee is to undertake a review of all other insurance laws and update the draft Insurance (Consolidated) Bill to align with international best practices.
The committee is also to make other recommendations as it deems fit for the overall interest of the nation’s insurance industry.