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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) plans to review the micro insurance guidelines to pave way for issuance of licences for operation at different strata of the economy.
The Commissioner for Insurance Mohammed Kari, who disclosed this in an interview, said the move would help reduce the licensing fee and accommodate more players in the business. He noted that operators could be issued licences to operate within a locality without necessarily running around the nation in search of business.
He said the commission has issued one stand alone micro insurance licence and that another applicant has just been interviewed.
“We have at the first level of implementation, allowed micro insurance and takaful be sold through windows, the next level is to see if we can let them stand alone and we are in the process of reviewing the guidelines for micro insurance and takaful.
“For micro insurance, we have nine companies that are presently selling the products through the conventional access and we have three firms selling takaful products through windows.
“We have got applications for stand alone and one of them had been published and the second one has just been interviewed. We have also published one takaful licence.
“What we are trying to do for the special classes, is to see if we can stagger the licence, this is because what our law provides for now, is just a licence, which by implication is just a national licence or a licence that gives operators access to operate anywhere. And with paid up capital of N200 million, most operators may not be able to operate in more than two units.
“We are encouraging investors to come and get smaller type of licence that would enable them operate in small areas. We hope to bring down the licence fee and issue people licences to operate either on national, state or as a unit. An operator could be issued a licence to operate within a market, that would enable the operator to be closed to the consumers. We are looking at this as a way to increase participation and deepen the market,” he said.
He posited that the process would also help move professionals who are presently, not properly positioned, have something worthwhile to engage in.