BY NKECHI NAECHE-ESEZOBOR--Committed to the growth of the Nigerian insurance Industry, the National Insurance Commission(NAICOM), on Monday unveiled it’s ten years industry Strategic Roadmap.
Speaking at a two day National Insurance conference 2023 organised by the commission in Abuja, with the theme: “Redefining Safety – Insurance Solutions for Public Buildings and Buildings under Construction, the Commissioner for Insurance/Chief Executive Officer of NAICOM, Mr. Sunday Thomas, said “over the next decade (2024-2033), the Insurance industry will seek to continue its transformation journey along the following Seven (7) strategic thrusts with the objective of achieving the corresponding goals which includes which include regulatory transformation, risk-based capital models, insurance promotion and adoption, product diversification, distribution channel optimization, digitalization, talent development, and support for Nigeria’s economic transformation.”
He added that the commission will also provide the industry with the guidance note for the Insurances of Government Assets and Liabilities.
On the theme of 2023 National Insurance Conference he said, the theme is only one out of numerous efforts of the Commission at creating the needed awareness of the general public of compulsory insurances.
He added that the commission has also created the platform to strengthen collaboration with relevant government and non-government agencies and other stakeholders.
This he said is being done to ensure that enforcement of all classes of compulsory insurances across the country are carried effectively.
He also highlight projects being implemented by the Commission as part of the its medium term NAICOM Strategic Plan 2021–2023, which includes ensuring improved safety and soundness of the Nigerian insurance sector to continue to de-risk economic activities of Nigerians through the enhancement of our prudential regulatory tools and good corporate governance practices.
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Others are migration of the Commission’s supervisory regime to align with global best practices. This initiative, he said has enhanced the Commission’s distress management and market restructuring.
“Implementation of Project E-Regulation through operationalized business process Management Solution and NAICOM Portal.
The BPMS is currently being used to process applications from insurance institutions while the Portal remains the focal point for generation of unique policy identification numbers for all policies as well as repository for statistical data including verification of insurance policies issued in Nigeria.
“Implementation of an actuarial capacity development programme for the Nigerian insurance industry. The programme has helped to develop some Certified Actuarial Analysts in Nigeria. The Commission will continue to engage relevant stakeholders with a view to developing additional Actuarial professionals for the industry.
“Opening up the insurance supply-side through licensing of twelve (12) additional new entrants and expansion of insurance distribution channels, etc. The licensing of these companies has enhanced availability of insurance products as well as increase local insurance capacity in Nigeria. This was historic considering that the last time an insurance company was licensed by the Commission before those recently licenced, was 10 years ago while that of any Reinsurance company was 32 years ago.
The Commission as part of its support to government initiatives mobilized the insurance industry to contribute the sum of N500million and free Life Insurance cover for front line workers in the management of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“The Commission has continue to reach out to State governments and relevant security agencies in the enforcement of compulsory insurances.”
He added that the Commission also provided financial assistance to tertiary institutions in Nigeria to facilitate education of professionals required by the insurance sector. Projects in five (5) tertiary institutions have been concluded and some Commissioned while seven (7) others are at various stages of completion.
He listed talent gap, Comparatively low public awareness, Insurance affordability, Lack of trust and confidence in insurers as some of the challenges affecting the desired growth of the insurance industry which had persisted.
Others are cultural and religious bias, inadequate distribution channels, low enforcement of insurance, amongst others.
In his remarks, the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, has assured that adequate budgetary provisions for insurances of all public assets in the country.
The Minister, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Federal Ministry of Finance, Okokon Udo, however called on insurance practitioners to esteemed trust which is the core of their business and change the public negative perception on insurance through prompt payment of claims.
The Senate President Godswill Akpabio, who was also represented by Senator Darlington Nwokocha, the Minority Whip of Senate, also promised that the Senate would support the amendment of sections of the Insurance Act to bring it to current reality.