NAICOM canvasses effective interplay between governance, compliance, national budget for financial industry growth

From left: Mrs. Abimbola Tiamiyu, CIIN Registrar, Tope Adaramola, NCRIB Executive Secretary, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, CIIN Deputy President, Edwin Igbiti, CIIN President, Barr. (Mrs.) Ekeoma Ezeibe, NCRIB Deputy President, Prince Babatunde Oguntade, NCRIB President at the Year 2024 CIIN Business Outlook in Lagos.

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Chuks Udo Okonta

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has said effective interplay between governance, compliance, and the national budget is essential for building a resilient financial industry.

The Deputy Commissioner for Insurance (Finance & Administration) Olufemi Oba, said this at Year 2024 Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) Business Outlook while speaking on the topic: ‘The Interplay between Governance and Compliance in the Financial Industry, and the 2024 Budget:Implications for Economic Stability and Growth’ held yesterday in Lagos.

Oba, who was represented at the event by the Assistant Director/Special Assistant National Insurance Commission, kemi Kehinde, noted that financial institutions can reinforce their governance structures, strengthen compliance frameworks, and align budgetary priorities with economic stability and growth objectives by addressing inherit challenges.

He submitted that ethical leadership, a commitment to transparency, and a culture of integrity are essential in fostering trust among stakeholders and promoting sustainable development whilst safeguarding investor confidence and fostering inclusive economic growth.

Oba maintained that the interplay between governance, compliance and the national budget is fundamental to the stability, integrity and growth of the financial industry and the broader economy.

“Governance frameworks establish the rules, practices, and structures that guide decision-making, ensure accountability and promote transparency within financial institutions.

“Compliance with laws, regulations, and ethical standards is essential to uphold market integrity, protect investors and mitigate risks,” he said.

President of CIIN Edwin Igbiti, said the event themed: ‘Governance and Compliance: Shaping the Financial Industry.’ was timely as the financial industry serves as the backbone of economies worldwide, playing a pivotal role in fostering economic growth, stability, and innovation.

“It is our responsibility, as leaders, ambassadors and stewards of this industry, to ensure that our institutions are not only prosperous but also operate with the highest standards of ethics, transparency, and responsibility.

“Governance, in its essence, forms the bedrock of any successful enterprise. It is about establishing a framework that promotes accountability, fosters a culture of integrity, and aligns the interests of all stakeholders.

“As we navigate through an era of increasing complexity, with myriad challenges and opportunities, sound governance practices should be the compass guiding us to sustainable success through adhering to the rules and regulations that govern our industry,” he posited

Igbiti said in an ever-evolving regulatory landscape, where changes are frequent and often unpredictable, operators ability to navigate these waters with agility and precision is paramount. It is not merely about meeting the minimum requirements, but striving for excellence in ethical conduct and regulatory adherence.

“Therefore, to shape the financial industry for a prosperous future, we must embrace innovation while maintaining a steadfast commitment to governance and compliance.

“The digital revolution brings unprecedented opportunities, but with them come new risks and challenges.

“We must leverage technology to enhance efficiency, customer experience, and financial inclusion, while ensuring the security and privacy of our clients’ information,” he submitted.

He noted that no doubt, collaboration is key to success. hence, governments, regulatory bodies, financial institutions, and industry stakeholders must work hand in hand to create an environment that encourages responsible innovation, safeguards the interests of all parties, and ensures the stability of the financial ecosystem.

As we embark on this journey of shaping the financial industry, let us not forget that our ultimate goal is to serve the needs of our clients and communities, he said

The CIIN President said a resilient and well-governed financial sector is not an end but a means to achieving broader societal goals. “We must strive for financial systems that are inclusive, stable, sustainable, and contribute to the greater good,” he added.

Chairman Mandatory Continuous Professional Development (MPCD) Committee Lady Isioma Chukwuma, said it is imperative that practitioners place a strong emphasis onn governance and compliance as the cornerstones of their operations.

Mrs. Chukwuma, who was represented by the past Chairman Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) Tope Smart, submitted that in the complex landscape of insurance, effective governance is essential for ensuring that organisations are managed responsibly and ethically, adding that this involves establishing clear lines of accountability, robust decision-making processes, and a culture of transparency.

She said it is the duty of all insurance businesses to operate with integrity and in the best interests of their policyholders and stakeholders.

According to her compliance plays a vital role in upholding the trust and credibility of the insurance industry, adding that adhering to regulatory frameworks, laws, and industry standards is non-negotiable. “As such, insurance businesses must prioritise compliance as a means of protecting the rights of their customers, maintaining financial stability, and mitigating risks,” she said.

Mrs. Chukwuma said in today’s rapidly changing environment, the need for strong governance and compliance within the insurance sector has never been more pressing, stressing that the evolving regulatory landscape, technological advancements, and shifting consumer expectations demand that organisations stay agile and proactive in their approach to governance and compliance.

To achieve this, insurance businesses must invest in robust governance structures, cultivate a culture of compliance at all levels of the organisation, and leverage technology to streamline regulatory processes, she added.

“By doing so, we can ensure that our industry remains resilient, trustworthy, and well-positioned for sustainable growth.

“As we look to the future, let us recommit ourselves to the highest standards of governance and compliance. By doing so, we can build a stronger, more resilient insurance industry that serves the needs of our customers, fosters trust, and contributes positively to the broader economy,” she submitted.

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