By Sola Alabadan
Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has charged the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to put strategies in place to ensure that insurance companies pay all genuine claims promptly to the policyholders.
The minister, who spoke during the commissioning of NAICOM portal in Abuja on Friday, stated that insurance companies must appreciate the fact that they are business, primarily to pay claims to the policyholders whenever the need arises.
While pointing out that “unsatisfactory response to settlement of claims by underwriters had greatly contributed to the prevailing poor public perception and lack of trust and confidence in the insurance Industry”,she added that prompt claims payment is the best advertisement for the industry.
Mrs. Ahmed congratulated the Commission on the Portal designed to serve as a platform for interconnecting all industry stakeholders to support real-time aggregation of data, automate its business processes and provide access to statistical data of the sector.
The commissioning of the Portal, she added, should serve as a springboard for industry wide adoption of technology and innovation for efficient and effective service delivery, ease of transacting business and customer experience and satisfaction.
She also urged the Commission to ensure that the Portal is connected to other government databases like the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) NIN Database, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Passport Database, Nigeria Integrated Customs Information system, FRSC’s National Vehicle Identification System, the National Vehicle Registry, State Licensing Databases among others, in order to provide value added services to all Insurance Industry stakeholders and enhance revenue generation.
In addition, the NAICOM Portal must also serve as the central database and sole repository of all Insurance Data connected to government databases in the country, she further noted.
The level of Insurance Penetration, a measure of the contribution of Insurance to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 0.88 for 2021, she said is very low,adding that this shows that there are abounding opportunities for growth in the market.
The minister therefore advised the insurance industry to develop new innovative products based on data and customer preferences, as well as introduce new channels of distribution beyond the traditional channels to reach new segments of the market.
She equally called for cooperation with other agencies of government to enforce compulsory insurances in the country.
IICC Boss Affirms Insurance Industry’s Resilience, Fast Expansion
The Chairman, Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC), Mr. Edwin Igbiti, has asserted that the Nigerian insurance industry is one of the most resilient and fast expanding sectors in the country.
Igbiti made this assertion at the 2022 IICC Media Retreat with the theme “Media as Catalyst for Insurance Inclusion,”organized for the members of the Nigerian Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE) at the weekend in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
According to him, “You will agree with me that there has been growth in the industry despite the numerous economic recessions, the effects of the COVID-19 and the #ENDSARS protests which resulted into millions of claims. The insurance industry has stood as one of the most resilient and fast expanding sectors in the nation’s economy. “
While emphasizing the importance of the IICC collaboration with members of NAIPE and the rationale behind the IICC Media Retreat, Igbiti said, “The crucial position the media plays in the economy and society at large cannot be over emphasised. Indeed, the media poses as a veritable authority for agenda setting, public education, sensitisation and awareness creation.
“It is in the light of the above, that the theme for this retreat “Media as Catalyst for Insurance Inclusion”, comes to limelight. The media is a powerful catalyst for social change and equally an effective tool for insurance inclusion that the industry desires. Hence, the need to continually carry the media along with the various initiatives and developments in the industry for good coverage and projection.
“As the industry witness expansion, we equally need you the media to keep promoting these achievements for the good of the common goal of the industry.
“We are partners and we urge you all to use your reputable platforms to consistently announce the gospel of insurance and its benefits to the public so that we can attain the desired penetration rate in Nigeria. When the industry is booming from our efforts, it will also be a common joy and gain for us all. Hence, the onus is on all of us, everyone in this room and our networks beyond it to ensure that the insurance industry attains its pride of place in the economic ecosystem.”
While commending NAIPE members for their support, the IICC Chairman who is also the President/Chairman in Council, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) said “I like to use this opportunity to express our profound appreciation to the media for its inestimable support over the years especially, you the insurance industry Journalists who have constantly employed your expertise and in-depth knowledge about the industry to objectively report the trends and opportunities as well as enlighten the public about the values of insurance.
Speaking about the IICC Media Retreat, he said the retreat is “organised annually by the IICC to serve as a platform to engage and recognize the contributions and the key roles the media has been playing as an instrument for awareness creation and education for insurance in Nigeria. It is also a great opportunity to feel the pulse of the public through the lens of the media. It is against this backdrop that the IICC ensures its commitment to this annual gathering remains an ever-present feature in the calendar of the industry.
“This forum also serves the objective of further unifying all Arms of the Insurance Industry who have come together under one umbrella, the IICC, to ensure unity and single-mindedness in promoting the insurance industry agenda.
“It is vital to state that the IICC was formed with the purposes targeted at enhancing the profile of the industry as well as boost its significance to the nation’s economic growth.”
Operator Blames Low Insurance Penetration On High Poverty Level
The Chairman of the Insurance Industry Consultative Council, Mr Edwin Igbiti, has blamed the low level of insurance penetration in Nigeria on the high level of poverty in the country.
While speaking at the Welcome Dinner of the 2022 Media Retreat organised by IICC for members of the Nigerian Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE) in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Igbiti said even though insurance premium income has been increasing, it is still nothing to cheer about considering the population of the country. The theme of the seminar is “Media As Catalyst For Insurance Inclusion”.
He therefore called on the Media to support the industry’s growth agenda in order to deepen insurance penetration in the country.
Igbiti, who is also the President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), made the appeal yesterday
He described the media as critical to the industry’s growth agenda, and called on the members of NAIPE to promote and project the industry’s activities in their reports for the growth of the industry and national economy.
“We recognise the importance of the media In the growth of any industry. We know we cannot achieve our growth agenda without the media. The essence of this gathering is for us as an industry to bring you together to brief you on the activities of the industry and our plans for the future.
“It is, therefore, expected that as journalists, you are to tell our stories in your reports and analysis because we are in this together and we will continue to work together as partners in progress for the progress of the industry and the growth of the national economy.
“You have been trying but we need you more. You have to project this industry in the way and manner we want it to be,” Mr Igbiti pleaded.
Present at the event included the representatives from the various arms of the industry, namely the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), represented by the Director General, Mrs Yetunde Ilori; Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) represented by the Deputy President, Mr Tunde Oguntade; Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN), represented by its President, Mr. Dipo Olanrewaju.
Others who graced the occasion included the DG, CIIN Mrs Abimbola Tiamiyu; Executive Secretary/CEO, NCRIB, Mr Tope Adaramola; Assistant Director, Corporate Communications & Human Resources/Administration, NIA, Mr Davis Iyasere, among others.
The IICC was inaugurated in 2013 to act as the unifying voice of the insurance industry, representing it on national issues affecting the insurance industry, taking up and assuming other roles that would serve the best interest of the industry in Nigeria and providing lasting solutions to challenging issues within the insurance sector.
CIIN Counsels NYSC Members To Become Professional Insurers
By Sola Alabadan
The Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) has counselled members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members to become professional members of the Institute, as part of efforts to boost insurance
awareness and attract young graduates into the insurance industry.
Speaking at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Sagamu, Ogun State, recently, the Director General of CIIN, Mrs. Abimbola Tiamiyu; enlightened the Corps members on the benefits of insurance to individuals, businesses and the economy at large.
She informed them that being a member of the Institute comes with numerous advantages for the graduates, especially those who have entrepreneur skills.
“Insurance stands as the back bone of any civil society because it repositions an individual or business to its former foundation when eventualities occur. A major instance is the #ENDSARS Protest that resulted in massive destruction; those who had one form of insurance policies or the other where able to recover from the unfortunate incident.
“The beauty of insurance is that it gives peace of mind and the industry as a whole is very lucrative and viable. There are various professional career positions you can attain by been in the insurance industry. With entrepreneurial prowess, you can be an agent who markets insurance policies and earn commissions, insurance broker, loss adjuster, underwriter; consultant and much more.
“We have different entry levels at the CIIN. The foundation level qualification is suitable for those coming into the industry to gain the essential basic knowledge of the market, key discipline and products. The Intermediate level qualification recognizes technical development achieved by those with a growing understanding of the industry.
The advanced level is the professional qualification awarded to experienced and expert market practitioners. In essence, becoming a member of the CIIN would give you an edge above others in the labour market, it makes you a professional”, Mrs. Tiamiyu explained.
While wishing the Corps members the best as their journey through life, the Director General admonished them to be loyal to Nigeria and remain exemplary ambassadors of the country wherever they go.