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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, has said the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) took a right decision in registering four insurance companies and a reinsurance firm as available result revealed that some of them were in the top 20 out of more than fifty of them within the first two years of operations.
Thomas stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja, adding that before the registration, the last direct company that was established was 10 years ago. “I am happy to say that these companies are doing quite well. From the numbers that we have seen so far, some of them were in the top 20 out of more than fifty of them within the first two years of operations. That means we have taken the right decision,” he said.
Thomas stated that until five years ago, the last insurance company that was licensed was about 32 years ago, stressing that NAICOM realised that it needs to license more companies that will assist the economy.
He maintained that with respect to compulsory insurance, NAICOM has done a lot trying to sensitize the states. “We realized that as a government institution, we may not be able to do so much sitting in Lagos or Abuja. We need the instrumentality of the states to be able to enforce some of the insurance policies. I am talking about the Motor Insurance third party; building under construction, public buildings, professional indemnity and all other compulsory insurance policies,” he said.
He noted that the commission knows that if it didn’t partner the states, it might be difficult for it to be able to maximize the benefit of its enforcement, stressing that consequently, it has to a large extent brought to the fore, the issue of financial inclusion, having in mind the structure of the nation’s population that is predominantly at the lower end of the pyramid in terms of income parity.
“Therefore, we have encouraged our operators to develop products like the micro insurance that will financially include all. Our responsibility is to license institutions and give them authority to go there and sell. We have licensed some institutions and we realized that looking at the size of Nigeria, we need to spread ourselves wider. That is why a few years ago, we licensed five additional companies,” he submitted.
The registered companies are: Heirs Life Assurance Limited; Heirs Insurance Limited; Enterprise Life Nigeria; Stanbic IBTC Life Insurance Limited and FBS Reinsurance Limited.