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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) said brokers whose licences were recently lapsed could re-register in their old names, Inspenonline learnt.
This, it was learnt, was an outcome of a meeting which held today in Abuja between the executives of NAICOM and the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), who represents the interest of the concerned brokers.
However, the affected brokers are expected to meet all the requirements needed for new licences, but could maintain their old names, a development meant to allow them retain their numerous customers.
Our source at the meeting quoted the Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari as saying, once a licence elapse, it is assumed as dead and cannot be resuscitated, hence, the only lifeline the commission could grant the brokers was to use their old names in the re-registration of their firms.
The source noted that the Commissioner for Insurance informed the brokers to do the needful, as the commission would no longer grant audience on the above issue again.
According to Kari, “We don’t seem to appreciate the meaning of lapse. If a licence lapses, it means it is dead. What we are doing now is to offer them opportunity to take another licence. It is not the reactivation of the lapsed licences, because they will have a new number, only the name can remain the same. Since 2014, we have been given this window of opportunity, so, this is not the first time.”
While speaking on brokers that were granted this same window of opportunities in 2014 and were still affected by the current exercise, he said: “So, for someone to have been reissued a new licence and allow it to lapse again the same year, I think such an operator is in the wrong business, he does not qualify to be a broker. Broking is a corporate business that requires a lot of legal requirements.”
The President, NCRIB, Kayode Okunoren, therefore, appreciated the commission for giving the affected brokers lifeline to re-register their outfits in the old names, stating that the cordial relationship between the two bodies still continues.
In December 2015, NAICOM published the names of 108 insurance brokers in national dailies for their failure to meet the regulatory requirements.
It was learnt that majority of the erring firms were sanctioned for violating certain provisions of the insurance law, such as; late submission of their returns to the regulatory body, while some did not even submit returns for several years, non-renewal of operating licence, among other offenses.
When their names were made public then, the commission said the affected firms would not be allowed to renew their operating licences, while those who are still interested to continue operating in insurance industry would be asked to apply for a fresh licence.