By Sola Alabadan
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has completed a real-time digital platform to put the Nigerian insurance industry on the same pedestal with their counterparts in other parts of the world.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, also charged the insurance operators to take advantage of the huge market in the country, while speaking on Thursday at a seminar organised for insurance journalists in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
“The terrain is tough but we are determined to succeed. Nigeria is not by accident the largest economy in Africa. We must take advantage of the population. There are a lot of things to fast track the process. The digital world will drive regulation,” he stated.
Thomas explained that the new portal is designed in such a way that wherever anybody is in the world, information on the nation’s insurance sector would be available to him at the click of a button.
He said, “we will be looking at the digital world. Part of what we have done so far is the fact that our portal that was on the drawing board for over six years has been fixed. It is taking us from where we are to the next level.
“We have sensitised the technical people in the industry and they have been going through series of trainings.
“The next thing we are going to do is to engage the industry with IT guidelines. It is no longer going to be historical reporting.”
While reaffirming that the commission would boost the recent confidence President Muhammadu Buhari reposed in the insurance sector, the NAICOM boss said this administration in NAICOM would not fail Nigerians.
He said: “It is not by coincidence that we are having this conference today that we are marking 60th anniversary as a nation.
“We want to be seen the way we are so we know where to make amends. NAICOM is an agency of the Federal Government and has the responsibility to make some impact on the economy. We will continue to relish the president’s appreciation of the industry.”
He further acknowledged that the investment climate was tough, saying, the commission was determined to make a difference as there will be no hindrance to information dissemination.
“If there is a need for change let us know and if there is a need for me to explain I will not hesitate to do that. We have challenges ahead of us but we are determined to overcome those challenges. We try as much as possible to let investors, government and stakeholders into our programmes.
Speaking on the commission’s rededication towards driving the Compulsory Insurance policy, he said it was not enough to sit in Abuja and expect the process to succeed.
He said it was on this ground he took out time recently to visit the Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, to prevail on his colleague governors to assist in driving the compulsory insurance policy.
Brokers Charge FG To Declare State Of Emergency On Insecurity
The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), has lamented the spate of killings, kidnapping and other forms of violent attacks in the country, saying the development is not only tarnishing the country’s image but also scaring investors away from the country.
The President of the Council, Dr. Bola Onigbogi who said this at media parley in Lagos, appealled to the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency on terrorism and killings, especially in the Northern part of Nigeria.
Onigbogi noted that if nothing is done as soon as possible to address this menace, it will deter foreign investors from investing in the Nigerian economy.
She said: “to say that the rate of killings and kidnapping in Nigeria is endemic is to state the obvious. The recent rate of attacks on people in most part of the nation is so disheartening.
“It is worrisome seeing how Nigerians are being massacred in their own fatherland unabated. It is difficult to read the mindset of these dare devil hoodlums, who have decided to unleash terror on unsuspecting and innocent Nigerians.
“Our heartfelt sympathy goes to the government and the people of affected States, especially, the immediate families of the victims. However, I like to join several other Nigerians to appeal to the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency on terrorism and killings, especially in the Northern part of Nigeria.
“We appeal to Mr. President to instruct all the service chiefs to take responsibilities for the killings and kidnappings that has continued to tarnish the image of the country. It is important to note that with the spate of killings and kidnapping in Nigeria, if nothing is done as soon as possible, it will deter investors from investing in Nigeria economy”.
Onigbogi, who also spoke on building collapses in the country, called on the government to take decisive measures to address this issues.
“It is essential for government to facilitate meetings of all stakeholders in order to reach a compromise on methods to adopt in stemming the tide. Kindly permit me to state at this juncture that the enforcement of Section 64 and Section 65 of Insurance Act 2003 should be prioritized”, she expressed.
Photo News: NAICOM Partners Fire Service To Enforce Compulsory Public Building Insurance
NICON Insurance Denies Receiving Senate’s Summon Over Non-remittance Of Pension Fund
The management of NICON Insurance Limited has denied receiving any summon from the Senate Committee on Public Accounts due to failure to remit pension fund to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.
In a statement titled, ‘NICON Insurance faults report on senate summon’, the insurance firm recalled the report, which stated that the Nigerian Senate had summoned the firm over ‘Failure to remit N17.4billion pension fund to PTAD’.
The insurance firm stated that it had not received any summon from the Senate Committee on Public Accounts and was, therefore, unaware of the existence of such summons as reported by the media.
The statement reads in part, “It is of great concern to management that NICON has been subjected to the court of public opinion on a matter in which we have discharged our duty as a responsible corporate citizen.
“To set the records straight, NICON transferred assets to PTAD under the leadership of Sharon Ikeazor in lieu of the legacy pension funds for over 50 agencies and parastatals of the Federal Government in June 2017.
“PTAD has all the title documents of the properties in its possession and has been collecting rent on them in the last four years. NICON is therefore not liable to PTAD for any pension funds.
“Management also notes that other issues reportedly raised by the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, are before a court and are therefore sub-judice for discussion except before the court of law.”
The insurance firm said it would not join issues with anyone and would make no further comment on these issues till they were resolved by the court.