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Chuks Udo Okonta
To effectively monitor operations of Takaful and Retakaful companies, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has mandated them to appoint officers to be called NAICOM Relationship Officers.
The mandate was issued in the recently released Market Conduct Guidelines for Takaful and Retakaful Insurance Operators by National Insurance Commission.
The guidelines issued on May 1, 2023, stated that a takaful insurance operator shall appoint or have a relationship officer, who shall be the liaison officer interfacing with NAICOM and shall be called NAICOM Relationship Officer (NRO).
NAICOM in the guidelines stated that the appointed Relationship Officer shall be a senior member of staff not below the rank of Senior Manager (or its equivalent) whose duties shall include but not limited to: Ensuring that all necessary returns are filed as required by the guidelines; vetting of all returns to the Commission; ensuring compliance with all statutory requirements, ensuring effective dissemination of directives and policy changes as may be contained in administrative letters, circulars, guidelines and other relevant statutory documents issued by the Commission from time to time, giving a quarterly report to the Commission in respect of the reports under reference.
“The NAICOM Relationship Officer who shall report directly to the Chief Executive
Officer shall be at liberty to report to the Commission any observations or conducts which are inconsistent with the statutory provisions and/or standard practice within the takaful industry,” NAICOM submitted.
NAICOM also noted that the takaful insurance operator is required to have a dedicated Internal Shari’ah Compliance Unit (ISCU) comprising of officer(s) with appropriate qualifications and experience in Islamic commercial jurisprudence, and conventional insurance/finance to serve as the first point of reference for Shari’ah compliance issues.
It said the Internal Shari’ahCompliance Unit may also serve as the Secretariat to the ACE and members of the Secretariat shall carry out their functions in consultation with the ACE.
NAICOM charged a takaful insurance operator to appoint a Compliance Officer not below the rank of a Senior Manager who shall be responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance with all anti-money laundering laws, regulations and guidelines.