ZAKA KHALIQ (NEWSWATCH TIMES NEWSPAPER)
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) may reinstate the lapsed licences of 108 insurance broking firms who were delisted in December 2015, Newswatch Times can reveal.
Newswatch Times learnt that the regulator, after it listened to the plea of the broking fraternity, decided to temper justice with mercy, by requesting the interested brokers to re-register their firms. The re-registration, findings show, means that the affected brokers would have to meet seven paid requirements before having their licences reinstated.
The regulator, it was learnt, granted this amnesty when the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) met NAICOM over the delisting of their members’ firms last year.
While some brokers have started the process of getting back their licences, others are still sceptical on the requirements needed to have their licences reinstated.
Newswatch Times learnt that this is the first time the regulator has decided to reinstate lapsed licences, and this was done to give fair play to all stakeholders in insurance industry as well as maintaining a strong relationship with NCRIB.
Speaking on this development over the weekend, the President, NCRIB, Mr. Kayode Okunoren, said, even though, the council only had 21 broking members affected, the amnesty granted by the commission, of which NCRIB played a huge part, is applicable to all affected brokers.
According to him, “The action we took does not only favour the 21 brokers, who are our members, but we are talking generally on the interest of all affected brokers. And that has led the commission to come out with this decision. Unlike before, when they say your licence is lapsed, it means it is dead and cannot be reawaken. But we, as a body, knows that it will be calamitous, and that will send a lot of people into the unemployment market, thereby creating problems for their families.”
To this end, he added that, “So, the take is that NAICOM has now come up with a seven paid arrangements whereby the re-registration of those lapsed licences can commence. Before, you cannot resuscitate a lapse licence, and now, the window of opportunity has been opened for those who still believe they can play by the rules, because when you are in a regulated environment, you have to abide by the rules and guidelines therein.”
Last month, NAICOM had delisted the names of 108 insurance brokers for their failure to meet the regulatory requirements and the erring firms had their names published in national dailies. Newswatch Times 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.
The affected firms include; Accredited Insurance Brokers, ACI Insurance Brokers, Alpha Insurance Brokers, APL Insurance Brokers, Atlantic Insurance Brokers Ltd, Ariel Insurance Brokers Ltd, Arimok Insurance Brokers, Aso Solid Insurance Brokers, Ayeson International Insurance Brokers Ltd, Backley Insurance Brokers, Barmco Insurance Brokers Ltd and Beaver & Roger Insurance Brokers
Others are; Biscons Insurance Brokers, Chase Insurance Brokers, Clackson Edu & Co Ltd, Classic Insurance Brokers, Continental Risk Care Insurance Brokers Ltd, Concris Insurance Brokers Ltd, Crestfield Insurance Brokers, Cusworth Insurance Brokers, Cute-Citizen Insurance Brokers, Dadafa Insurance Brokers, Dayspring Insurance Brokers, among others.
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.