The National Insurance Commission has given consideration to brokers whose licences have expired to enable them to re-register with their old names, an official has said.
The Commissioner for Insurance, NAICOM, Mohammed Kari, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday that the action would enable the brokers to retain their customers.
Kari said: “If a licence does not exist, there is nothing to renew and having lost a licence, ideally what you should do is to apply for a new name and market your client all over.
“But we are giving them the benefit to maintain their client if they have them.”
Kari explained that the commission in July 2014 released a list of 264 brokers whose licences had lapsed but they appealed and were given a soft landing.
He said: “We gave opportunity for re-issuance on the same financial condition and almost everybody on this list was on that list and they did not take the opportunity that time but continued doing business.
“If we are to take up the full implication of the law, obviously, every staff member of the broker insurance company that is doing business without licence can be fined N250,000.
“And they can also be convicted, but the repercussion is that it can affect the insurance companies and the consumers because if everybody in the market is scattered and confused, there will be problem.”
Kari said the requirement for re-registering was not different from obtaining a new licence, but the firm had the grace to maintain its old name.
He restated that the measure by the regulator was to encourage members of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers not to allow their licences to lapse.
Also, the President of NCRIB, Emmanuel Okunoren, who had appealed to NAICOM to reconsider its stringent requirements, thanked the commission for the soft landing.
Okunoren pledged the association’s partnership with the regulatory body, adding that NCRIB would ensure that its members followed the guidelines of NAICOM for improved performance.
He said: “We have engaged most of them and commenced the process of re-educating them on the need to follow guidelines in a regulatory environment.
“And we believe that progress and improvements will be seen going forward.”
On the issue of pending renewals of NCRIB members and the reactions by underwriters on the need to be cautious in dealing with brokers, Okunoren said it had been taken care of by NAICOM.
Okunoren said: “NCRIB has detailed the particulars required to the extent of which they are vital to renewal process .
“And in ensuring that this issue is amicably resolved, the commissioner has gracefully agreed for a committee to be set up consisting of three members from NCRIB and three from NAICOM.
“They will look critically on the individual items on the requirements necessary for obtaining a renewal licence with a view to ensuring that no one item prevents a licence being issued.
“Before the end of this week, we should be able to come up with the names of those to represent each of the parties.”