By Sola Alabadan
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has been pursuing vigorously, the market development and enforcement of compulsory insurance products in order to improve the uptake of Takaful and Microinsurance as well and consequently meet the insurance industry financial inclusion target.
Insurance industry target was set at achieving 40% penetration amongst adult population by the year 2020 (from 1% in 2010).
Zubairu Darazo, Head, Takaful Insurance, NAICOM, who stated this while presenting a paper on “Insurance Development In Nigeria; The Financial Inclusion Option” at a seminar organised for insurance journalists in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State recently.
He also informed that the commission intends to undertake a number of stakeholder engagements workshops and sensitisation programmes in 2021, to meet the financial inclusion target.
Going forward, he said the commission projected positive outlook for both Takaful and Micro insurance, as part of efforts to bring more people into the insurance safety net and deepen insurance penetration in the country.
To achieve the target of 40% adult population penetration, NAICOM has been pursuing through a broad range of coordinated interventions including providing enabling environment and framework for the excluded and low income population to participate and benefit from Insurances, through the development of legal and regulatory frameworks on Takaful and Microinsurance. In this regard, the Commission issued the two Guidelines in 2013.
NAICOM also liberalized Insurance intermediaries as there are referral agencies and new insurance agents, while defining and implementing insurance literacy programmes.
Besides, the commission has been enforcing quick settlement of claims and sanctions for infractions through the establishment of a dedicated department complaints bureau in the Commission.
The insurance regulator equally incentivise insurance companies to develop micro-insurance products, Takaful insurance and index-based insurance products to serve low-income/rural individuals.
As at today, NAICOM has licensed five Takaful Operators, as well as icensed four four Microinsurance Operators (2 State licenses, 1 Unit and 1 National license)
Hw later listed the challenges facing the financial inclusion project, to include lack of proper understanding of both concepts by the operators and consumers, poor public awawareness and lack of skilled manpower.
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.
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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.