From left: The Director Research Strategy and Information Technology, Adamu Balanti; Ogun State Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbola Ashiru and Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari at the event.
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Chuks Udo Okonta
If things worked as planned, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) would before the end of June this year, commence the issuance of identification numbers to insurance policies and also launch its portal that would warehouse the industry’s data.
The Director Research Strategy and Information Technology, Adamu Balanti, said at the just concluded seminar organized by NAICOM for Business Editors and Insurance Correspondents in Abeokuta, Ogun State, that the unique policy identification system is to monitor and account for all policies issued by underwriters.
He noted that the system will reduce to the barest minimum the prevalence of improper records regarding policies issued, adding that with the system, NAICOM will be able to track the number of insurance policies issued by underwriters.
Adamu had said in the past that the system would also enable the commission track the activities and revenues made by insurance companies and brokers.
He said: “This system is to build an integration point for the various stakeholders involved in insurance policy issuance. Generate and provide a unique identification number for every policy issued, in order to track and provide relevant statistics on them.
“It would help develop a capacity in NAICOM to record all policies issued by Nigerian insurance companies. Ensure proper accountability of all premium returns by insurance companies, capture all businesses done by every broker through the underwriter, ensure proper accountability of all insurance levies received from brokers, provide easy access to data regarding policies issued and support analysis and policy based decision making.”
Balanti said the portal provides a single point of access for all NAICOM services, validate the authenticity of insurance policies and accessible from any location within Nigeria. He added that the system should be able to interact or communicate with other systems/users such as FRSC, Police, and VIO.
“We want to identify each individual insurance policy issued in the country; this is why we are developing, what we called – Unique Policy Identifier (UPI). With it, each insurance policy document issue in the country will have a unique identification number. The Unique number will be used to identify that document.
“We are also developing a database of that identification number, so that anybody in the country can query the database to confirm if the policy document before him or her is genuine or not. We are hoping that in the next few years, we will get it out,” he added.
He noted that the initiative cuts across all insurance product lines, adding that all policies procured by the public must have this unique number.
He said the concept is not a duplication of the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) being promoted by the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), stressing that the NIA is collaborating with NAICOM on the project.
“We would not allow a situation where a section of the industry has made a huge investment on a project; we come up with something to stop it. We would collaborate with them to solve the problem of fake insurance which is giving the industry a bad image,” he added.
He noted that the number will be issued from a central place, adding that NAICOM is moving to a situation where its information and telecommunications, will continue to interface with those of the operators. So, that as the operators issue policies, their systems interact with that of the commission seamlessly.
He said the commission is developing an information and technology policy for the industry that would put the operators on the page with the commission.
“That document would ensure that we have a minimum standard for everybody. In fact, the draft for the policy has been done, every soon, we would form industry committee that would look at that, harmonise it and take input to produce the final copy,” he said.
Adamu also noted that the commission would soon repackage its website to enhance interaction with the public, adding that the commissioner for Insurance Mohammed Kari has approved the review and redesign of the website.