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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has been commended for successfully organising and hosting the 2023 National Insurance Conference, with the theme: ‘Redefining Safety: Insurance Solutions for Public Buildings and Buildings under Construction’
The commendations are coming from prominent players in the insurance business, who believed the conference has helped beamed light on the roles of insurance in economic development.
The President of West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) and Managing Director, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc Eddie Efekoha, while speaking with journalists at the sideline of the conference in Abuja, applauded the Commissioner for Insurance Sunday Thomas and his team in NAICOM for organising the conference which he said has helped beamed light on the role of insurance in the economy.
According to him, the conference together with the theme, has helped raised awareness on insurance, adding that during his tenure as Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), insurance awareness was one of his key agenda.
“One of the pillars of the 10-year strategic plan which I initiated during my tenure as Chairman of Nigerian Insurers Association was about awareness, which is a very strong pillar in the strategic goal of the industry.
“Sometimes we think that a lot of us know the values of insurance and we also think that without prompting people, they would do the needful, but it is not always the case.
“This conference together with the theme particularly, is a reminder of the role we all have to play. Bear in mind, the host of this conference is the National Insurance Commission which is the adviser on insurance to the government. So expectedly, the government should know their role and should champion the things we should do to promote insurance.”
He noted that there are a lot of grounds the insurance industry needs to cover, hence, the conference came at the right time and it was one of those great initiatives of the insurance industry regulator – NAICOM.
He said the conference was a reminder to the commission to the fact that government has a lot of role to play and also a reminder that companies have a role to play, stressing that the focus of the conference, which was on building under construction and building already in use, but require good maintenance, is apt as there is great need to ensure safety on these buildings through insurance.
Efekoha maintained that at a time like this when resources are limited to government, this is the time they need to transfer any risk they cannot safely undertake before they happen. “If a building collapses and they do not have the resources they would deep their hands to reach out to victims, it then makes more economic sense to pay the premium which is less than one per cent of the entire cost of the risk. The conference is really apt, as it would help the government appreciate the need to leverage insurance in mitigating risks,” he posited.
The Past President, African Insurance Organisation (AIO) and Managing Director NEM Insurance Plc, Tope Smart, also gave kudos to the Commissioner for Insurance and his team in NAICOM for successfully hosting the conference.
He posited that the conference was really good, adding that if the issues raised are well implemented, the conference would be a game changer for the industry, as it would add a lot of income to the industry and great opportunity to promote insurance business.
The national conference organized by NAICOM which brought together major stakeholders would really add great value to the insurance industry, he said.
Commissioner for Insurance in his welcome address at the event the conference said was only one out of numerous efforts of the Commission at creating the needed awareness of the general public of compulsory insurances, stressing that it has also created the platform to strengthen collaboration with relevant government and non-government agencies and other stakeholders and that this is being done to ensure that enforcement of all classes of compulsory insurances across the country are carried effectively.